Luluc: Sculptor review – the hushed sounds of the suburbs
What feels like the emotional conclusion of Luluc’s third album comes halfway through, on Cambridge. “I guess we’re living proof / There are other roads open to me and you,” Zoë Randell sings, “And as I took to the stage and that dark room waiting to come alive / I thought of that light in your eyes, fuck yeah, and I held my head up high.” Before and after Cambridge, Sculptor seems like an album of dissatisfaction, of being caught in a life and a place that’s not right.
Sometimes the displacement is that of the small-town adolescent, as on Kids, fretting about “those bored police / Who follow you on the street”.
Sometimes it’s geographical: Controversy takes its lyrics from the novel My Brother Jack by George Johnston, and opens: “What was so terrifying about these suburbs was that they accepted their mediocrity.” Sometimes it’s the simple feeling that one is not among like minds: “Let it be something different / Please let it be something different,” Randell pleads on Me and Jasper. There’s always the risk that proclaiming one’s difference from all the narrow-minded plebs will come over as whiny and entitled. It’s a trap Luluc escape through their music, not defiant or raging, but hushed and wistful. Steve Hassett’s guitar sounds like a dandelion clock blowing away on the wind, which maximises the impact of the occasional disruptive flurries from J Mascis and Aaron Dessner. You might listen to it and think of Cowboy Junkies; you might also think of the short stories of John Cheever, for this is suburban sadness recast as beauty.
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July 13, 2018 at 10:48AM
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