Cindy Lee brings back the “melodies of yesterday” in ‘Kingdom Come’

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Cindy Lee brings back the “melodies of yesterday” in ‘Kingdom Come’

Cindy Lee is the drag queen persona and lo-fi project of Patrick Flegel, a Canadian musician who became known more than a decade ago as the vocalist and guitarist of the band Women, which dissolved in 2010. With Cindy Lee, Flegel practices a lo-fi pop sound inspired by the girl groups and melodic singers of the 60s. Both his 2020 album, ‘What’s Tonight to Eternity?’, which contained the wonderful ‘Heavy Metal’; and the one released in 2024, ‘Diamond Jubilee’, have been considered for nomination for the Polaris Music Prize, the Canadian Mercury Prize.

Cindy Lee has caught the attention of critics and audiences this year thanks to ‘Diamond Jubilee’ and, above all, to its atypical release, as the album is not available on any streaming platform. Or almost none, as it can be listened to on YouTube in full, but none of its songs are available separately. Although the best way to listen to ‘Diamond Jubilee’ is to download it for free through this website.

‘Diamond Jubilee’ is a mammoth work, a double album that lasts over two hours, made up of 32 tracks in which Cindy Lee gives free rein to all her influences, without giving up the lo-fi sensibility that characterizes her or the sweetness of her melodies, always so inspired by classic pop. It is the Album of the Week.

A good way to start with ‘Diamond Jubilee’ is its 12th track, ‘Kingdom Come’. This track is where all of Cindy Lee’s virtues come together. Just as she hears “melodies of yesterday” in the lyrics, this song seems to come from yesterday, evoking the tenderness of some Lesley Gore or Patsy Cline melodies. On the other hand, 60s garage and surf rock from that same decade form the precedent for the electric guitars full of fuzz and distortion present in ‘Kingdom Come’. Amidst the bustle of the percussion, a romantic string arrangement makes its way.

The sound of ‘Kingdom Come’ provides Cindy Lee with the perfect context for her lyrics to express all of her melancholy and longing. And with her androgynous voice and heartfelt delivery, Lee manages to make lines like “I wanna hear your voice again,” “Don’t tell me it’s the end,” and “I miss you, dear friend” strike a chord. You can listen to ‘Kingdom Come’ starting at minute 36.05… or just start reading the whole album.

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Simon Müller

Simon Müller is the driving force behind UMusic, embodying a lifelong passion for all things melodious. Born and raised in New York, his love for music took form at an early age and fueled his journey from an avid music enthusiast to the founder of a leading music-centered website. Simon's diverse musical tastes and intrinsic understanding of acoustic elements offer a unique perspective to the UMusic community. Sporting a dedicated commitment to aural enrichment and hearing health, his vision extends beyond just delivering news - he aspires to create a network of informed, appreciative music lovers. Spend a moment in Mueller's company, and you'd find his passion infectious – music isn’t simply his job, it’s his heartbeat.