#LetTheGirlsPlay: Lacy Green Is Learning to Be Less Personal
A songwriter knows that what’s great today could be forgotten tomorrow. Lacy Green is learning this. It’s a difficult lesson for any Nashville newcomer, but after two years in Music City, she’s come to terms with a few realities.
The Pilot Mountain, N.C.-raised singer and songwriter isn’t down on the industry. That whole Tomatogate scandal? She used it as motivation to be sharper, more melodic and more impactful. Green is a signed songwriter seemingly on the verge of a breakout hit. The #LetTheGirlsPlay movement is amplifying her voice.
“Sometimes it really blows my mind to think about how many great, great songs are just buried under the depths of like the Nashville machine, that just kind of moved on without them for whatever reason,” she says. It’s not a critique of the way business is done in this town as much as it is a statement of how many songs are produced every single day in writing rooms up and down Music Row. Creativity spreads like Zika, but until Green began working with others signed to Dan Hodges Music, her artistic impulses were a little unrefined. Writers like Jason Duke (Kelsea Ballerini's "Dibs") helped her with songwriting, as well as the business of being a professional songwriter.
“I kind of had my own voice, but I didn’t know how to make that voice accessible to a lot of people,” she says.
Green grew up in a musical family. Her father is her musical hero, while her sister is also a talented singer and musician who opted for a more traditional career path after college. Green graduated from University of North Carolina with degrees in religion and music (she jokes that she’s virtually unemployable outside of music) and played music through college. She was a performer long before she became a songwriter and insists doing both is the ultimate dream. She may hide behind a notebook or guitar when feeling vulnerable, but she wants to be on stage just as badly.
As she talked to Taste of Country, the auburn-haired singer was buzzing about a song called “Perfectly Flawed” that she’d just finished. Happy love songs are difficult for her — she’d much rather lean into some great emotional conflict — but this new, still unreleased song is a celebration of womanhood and all the contradictions that come with it. The twist is that “Perfectly Flawed” could be forgotten by tomorrow. Each day brings more co-writes and more chances to match the power of her best work.
“I’ve kind of gotten to the place now where now that I’ve been writing for a couple of years, I’ve sort of learned to keep a healthy distance from my songs,” Green says. “I think the ones that are the best are the ones that everybody keeps bringing back up.”
There’s a humble confidence about this young artist that’s both disarming and inviting. She’s honest about where she’s flawed. She knows becoming an even better guitarist will open up more melodies and ideas, and she’s working at it. Green realizes a songwriter’s obstacles, but doesn’t cower in their shadows.
She proudly loves cheap jewelry. The song “Green” is about that infatuation, although everyone thinks it’s about her boyfriend. During a recent Song Suffragettes performance at the Listening Room in Nashville her song drew applause and laughter. The chorus is unexpected and delightful:
“I know right now he’s shining like / A Fifth Avenue diamond / Some things just aren’t what they seem / He’s just got you blinded / Honey don’t be surprised when / Love that he’s made of turns out to be cheap / He’s gonna turn your finger green.”
“We all know that guy and that girl in that relationship where you’re kind of diluting yourself about how great something is. And then it always comes to light like, ‘Man that was kind of a knock-off version of what I thought it was.’”
Historically, Green says, she’s been the breaker-upper in relationships, but she knows of what she sings. It’s a song that showcases her evolution. For months she labored to make “Green” into something deep and complicated. Co-writer Groan Kralj helped her simplify and the result is enjoyable, personal and accessible to anyone that hears it. Her story becomes your story quickly.
“The challenge for me in songwriting is finding that sweet spot between oversimplifying something, and overcomplicating something,” she says.
Nice Things (2015) was the name of Green’s most recent EP, and you can find it at iTunes and Spotify. This year she’ll return to the studio, but in the meantime find her often during the Monday #LetTheGirlsPlay shows and every Thursday at the Row in Nashville.