Former Riverside City College student goes from lectures to love songs

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Correction: In a previous version of this story, we incorrectly referred to Lucy Eaton’s producer as Eric Lee. His name is Marcus Lee.

Lucy Eaton, 21, performs at a concert in Berkeley, California in October 2018. She transferred to UC Berkeley from Riverside City College. (Photo courtesy of Pierre Carrillo)
By Alyssa Aldrete

Like most young adults, 21-year-old Lucy Eaton enrolled in college to forge a new path for herself. 

Through a series of chances taken and opportunities met, she has now found her voice – both literally and figuratively – on the airwaves of worldwide music streaming platforms.

Australian-born turned Bay Area transplant Eaton was born to two songwriting parents, so music was always a part of her life growing up. But when she enrolled at Riverside City College in 2015, music was not necessarily the path she was on.

Initially experimenting with filmmaking, Eaton worked with fellow students to produce several films for the Student Film Festival, while taking some music classes for fun.

“As time went on, I realized what I really liked about that was writing,” Eaton said. “I was already working on some music on the side, but I didn’t really get serious about it until I realized that writing was what was really calling me to the arts.”

With the help of her mother, Eaton quickly added to her artistic repertoire, fine-tuning her songwriting processes and learning to play various instruments such as piano and ukulele. Eaton took her bag of skills along with her when she transferred to UC Berkeley, where she joined a student club called Songwriting at Berkeley, and really came into her own. 

“They had opportunities for you to play original music and get feedback on it, and that really started everything for me in terms of being able to play live for the first time,” Eaton said.

Lucy Eaton performs at a songwriting retreat in Berkeley, California in October 2019. Eaton released her single, “Rotten Love,” on Sept. 25. (Photo courtesy of Pierre Carrillo)

After becoming vice president of the club and performing numerous original songs to her fellow students on campus, Eaton graduated with a newfound confidence in playing her original music live. After college, she linked up with Marcus Lee, co-founder of the Songwriting club, who began helping her to record her music professionally. The experience of this process went so well that Eaton and Lee decided to take the dive and produce and release a full-length song, in which “Rotten Love” was born.

This endearing, bright folk tune is a showcase of Eaton’s sharp and clever pen meeting perfectly with her soft, yet strong vocal range. A unique take on your average love song, the lyrics tell the story of what comes naturally in a relationship filled with unwavering love; that feeling of simply wanting to give that person everything they could want or need. 

Between the rhythmic sounds of the tambourine intertwined with the calming strums of ukulele, you can almost hear the smile on Eaton’s face. This song paints a perfect picture of two people happy and in love under a bright sun or a twinkling moon, and combines the light and soulful sounds of artists like Regina Spektor and Feist with the nuanced harmonic hymns found in Of Monsters and Men’s music.

“Rotten Love” will be a welcome addition to playlists containing all the best indie-folk rock artists of today’s generation, with more from Eaton soon to follow. It is available now on all major music streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Music.

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