Steve Lacy’s “The Lo-Fis” is one of his best

Coming off of his 2019 debut Apollo XXI, Steve Lacy released The Lo-Fis in 2020, a 25-minute collection of short but sweet neo-soul tracks. While on the surface it may seem like a collection of demos and throwaways, The Lo-Fis has some hidden gems that are hard to ignore.
The track “I Think I Should” is a perfect example of how The Lo-Fis’ charm and energy make up for its lack of length and thematic strength. Its 99-second run-time and simple guitar instrumental make for a lighthearted experience, but the vocal harmonies and heartfelt lyrics give the song some real significance in the scope of the album. Similarly, the song “4real” follows the pattern of simple instrumentation and production with catchy vocals, but stands out in the tracklist because of Lacy’s vocal experimentation and range. With a comparatively long run time of 2:24, “4real” gives itself time to grab the attention of the listener for the duration of the song.
Self-reflection is most distinguished in the track “That’s No Fun.” Lacy delivers a universal message of personal evolution through smooth and atmospheric production, as well as a pattern of vocal harmonies to accompany his introspective songwriting.
Love is prominently scattered throughout the tracklist, unrequited at times and desperate at others. Tracks like “Infrunami” and “Jars of It” see Lacy expressing his offering different perspectives for his past and present lovers. “Infrunami” is introspective and regretful, while “Jars of It” sees Lacy relish in his love and enjoy moments with his loved one.
Songs like “Atomic Vomit” and “Out Me Head” include heavy basslines that dominate the instrumental and make for a relaxing listening experience. “Atomic Vomit” is the more developed of the two, even though it’s only composed of one verse and repeated hook and runs for one minute and thirty seconds. While “Out Me Head” has the catchier hook, the empty space between refrains leaves the listener wanting more. Nonetheless, it’s perfect for anyone who just needs a break or a refresher. In that way, “Out Me Head” is perfectly representative of The Lo-Fis’ simple and relaxing nature.
For anyone looking for new music to study to, or a new soundtrack for unwinding, The Lo-Fis has you covered.