It’s hard to tell without following the narrative of its music video, but “Lucy,” the breakthrough single from 16-year-old songwriter Kali Flanagan under the mononym KALI, is a tale of heartbreak. It’s hard to tell because the song itself is a vibrant work of synth-aided, West Coast pop-R&B incorporating shades of surf rock—all sounds that align more closely with a stress-free summer tune than a bummed-out remembrance of a lost love.
Taking to the outdoors in Monterey, California with an acoustic guitar, KALI’s stripped-down “Neighborhoods” recording of the track better captures this lovelorn energy. After dispelling the apparently popular notion that her friend Trixie Begler—who stars in the “Lucy” video alongside KALI, and who records this live session—is the person the EP is about, she launches into a hushed, heartfelt rendition of the single. Watch it below.