Saturday, February 7, 2009

Luke Williams EP, new music on the scene.

I have a soft spot for local music. When someone close to me makes a song it usually resonates more, so I'm not usually a very reliable music guru. I get all emotionally invested. But when Luke Williams told me he was releasing his debut E.P Ancient Eyes I got disproportionately excited, because not only is Luke a local guy but he's a freakin' musical genius as well. He breathes the stuff, has since he was about 12.

None of that matters when you throw on some headphones and start up his album. Kid's got talent, and speaks in crafty tounges. I believe he recorded just about every instrument on the mix himself, and they're all completely pro. For example: The accordion track on We Were Wrong? Luke, frustrated at the lack of a concert organ in the vicinity of his house, dug his dad's old accordian out of the basement and taught himself how to play it for the track in about a day. What a jerk!

I really like what he's done, the moods of the tracks he puts back to back. Songs like Mary Alice, We Were Wrong and Topaz have just enough jive plus sincerity to really last, and the vocal harmonies he throws in here and there really take it up a notch. I feel hints of everything from Jethro Tull to Skybox to Ben Harper. But the song for the ages, the one 5 years before its time in his musical repertoire, for me, is Don't Leave Me Alone...

The lilting progression on the track.... hurts in a really powerful way. Someone as young as Luke (or me, for that matter) shouldn't know this loneliness, to me it's astonishing to hear this kind of reflection in someone else's art. The emotions in this song make me sublimely sad, and his treatment of them makes me smile. Good on ya, Mr. Williams.

Some criticisms: Don't Leave Me Alone gets my personal gold star, but I'm holding out a request for an acoustic, more lo-fi version without the initial blast of blues guitar. I liked the version where you could hear the empty apartment, you know? But it's still a crushingly good song.

Also, Luke's more sunshiney stuff (Sunflower) leaves me a bit empty; I tend to dig his darker, smokier tunes. If this is his debut, though, we can expect some seriously impressive music from him once he's gone on a couple cross-country adventures and suffered a few bumps. Everything along the way promises to be really, really good.

The 7 Song EP Ancient Eyes is available to download free right here.

3 comments:

richkitter said...

Nice review, Davey. I've known Luke for a few years and have always been impressed with his musical talents. I tend to dig the moodier, darker pieces myself, but taken as a whole, I think the EP is a nice promise of even better things to come.

Rich K.

Noelle said...

Great review, glad to see there are people out there that can appreciate the locals. Luke is an amazing musician and I hope this EP will open doors for him.

Der Blaue Reiter said...

Hi Rick and Noelle, glad you liked the review, I'm still so impressed with his E.P... been thinking about it constantly.

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