490. The Lucksmiths – “Where Were We?”

This is the 7th album in the Lucksmiths’ discography.

a album cover CD Review lucksmiths where were we candle records t-shirt weatherIt isn’t a ‘real album’, however. Rather it is a collection of singles etc from a three-year period.

As such, it’s a surprisingly coherent opus, with a fuller band sound, greater use of horns, organs and other non-stringy instruments.  To those who remember the simpler, early days this does mark a point where competence and musicality overwhelmed the sense of playfulness and ad-hockery we’d grown used to.

The world of ‘twee indie pop’ is really several (not mutually exclusive) sub-genres of the (i) low-fi/ anaemic (ii) brash acoustic powerpop (iii) layered and lush and (iv) the outright pretentious.

I would argue that the Luckas typically steered clear of (i) and (iv), but certainly shifted away from (ii) (to (iii)) over time.  It’s a shame but understandable.  Their last gasps of unashamed pop are wonderful – see T-Shirt Weather:

The more tranquil tracks are still admirable and catchy takes on nostalgia (Cassingle Revival, I Prefer the Twentieth Century), boardgames (Even Stevens) and domestic roadtrips (Southernmost, Great Dividing Range).

Moving further and further away from the band’s last live efforts, I’m surprised how languid and loungey their albums feel.  The urge to sway is defeating any memory of dancing and jumping… the passing of youth?

File under: Milestone or millstone?

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