Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Album Review: Luluc - Sculptor

***and1/2 out of *****

The first thing that hits you on any Luluc release is the gorgeous melding of the duos vocals. ZoĆ« Randell and Steve Hassett are the Australian artists and their newest release, Sculptor keeps the singing as intriguing as ever, but have broaden their instrumentation (with the help of  some friends) releasing the strongest album of their career. 

Opener "Spring" brings a Band of Horses soaring vibe to the forefront while Randall takes over the vocals for "Heist" which is as about as confrontational as the outfit has ever been around light horns and an an organ buzz while the folky "Cambridge" softly swells on the breeze. The National's Aaron Dessner co-produced the disk and there are lots of parallels with the slightly off but restrained sound of Sculptor and National releases. 

Other guests arrive to help out as drummer Jim White adds some scattered percussion to "Genius" giving the folk track a jazz flair while J Mascis arrives for a brief guitar solo which sounds like it was recorded in an adjacent studio on the best overall track "Me and Jasper" dealing with small town talk as Randell and Hassett meld beautifully. 

Less successful offerings are "Kids" which laments growing up as different sounds float in and out yet becomes dull during it's extended run time, never paying off while "Controversy" has it's heart in the right place, but crams too many thoughts into the brief tune, feeling more like a demo or outtake.

Even when the Randell and Hassett miss the mark, the results aren't skippable. The outfit can make almost all songs sound pretty with fluttering singing and tempered music to fit the mood. Sculptor is a clear step up as Luluc seem ready to rise to the next level. 
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video:

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