As he prepares for the release of his second solo album Gemini Rights, Steve Lacy gifts his adoring fanbase with a double dose of what they can expect from the forthcoming project. Both the lead single “Mercury” and its follow-up “Bad Habit” tackle such relatable topics as love, life and self-awareness. True to form, despite the personal and somewhat heavy subject matter, Lacy is sure to keep spirits lifted with sickening guitar riffs, lively percussion and a penetrating bassline.
“Mercury” sets the tone for introspection as he reflects on all the ways his zodiac sign and his lineage have impacted his moves in both life and love. He reminisces over the retro groove singing, “I do as I please and you see where it lead / Guess somethin' bad ain't 'bout to happen to me / You think I'm two-faced, I can name twenty-three / My layers, all these sides / Could you stick by for the ride? / It's a thrill, and I don't even know how to feel / It might be too real.”
The Rubberband-directed visual depicts this duality with Lacy inside and outside of a fenced-in area set in a warehouse. At first, he appears to be at least somewhat in control as he vibes out and performs the track’s lyrics adorned in blue goggles and a white shirt. The shirt sends a subliminal message with his tie turning the painted “S” on the front into a dollar sign with a red target centered on the back. Soon, the googles are removed and his clothes become tattered, as we watch him struggle to get to his feet while a dual image of Steve staggers outside of the cage. The camera pans around to see him trapped inside with a ferocious barking dog before he falls out, leaving his fate up to interpretation.
“Bad Habit” serves as the perfect follow-up to the lead single, with Lacy detailing how his hesitation may cost him a chance at romance. While he notes that there are no coincidences, he pursues this possibility only to have his Gemini nature kick in and question it all. "I bite my tongue, it's a bad habit / Kinda mad that I didn't take a stab at it," he sings, frustrated with himself.
With its nostalgic synths, the track itself continues along the retro wave, while the Julian Klincewicz-directed visual throws things back to the "Mercury" video. Steve is dressed in the exact same outfit from that clip before it got tattered at the end. This time, however, we find Lacy on a plain soundstage amid a blank canvas of multiple hues, likely a metaphor for his ever-changing mood.
Steve Lacy’s “Mercury” and “Bad Habit” are a satisfying sample of what fans can expect on Gemini Rights. The artist has unveiled the project's cover art featuring Lacy in the same outfit he's rocked in his two new videos and has us curious about its significance. We look forward to learning more when Gemini Rights drops on Friday, July 15th. Pre-order/pre-save the full album before its release date.