Album Review: Luluc – Sculptor

Australian folk duo Luluc, comprised of Zoe Randell and Steve Hasset just released their third album. Sculptor will exceed the hopes of all fans and attract many new listeners. Although their music may be slow and low energy, each song sings you to sleep in its own beautifully moving way.

The first song on the album, Spring, sets the mood with vibrant acoustic pluckings and mellow full-band back up. This peaceful vibe sucks you right in to the meditative Luluc world. It may take a few listens, but their arrangements and song structures are crafted to hook fans into an immediate connection to the beat. Track two, Heist, begins with a building vocal driven melody with backing studio effects. Although Luluc present their organic, natural acoustic vibes, a big influence on their sound is the studio production. On Kids, Randell’s vocals shine with a haunting glow that brings to mind Joni Mitchell’s beautiful tone.

On Controversy, classical guitar pluckings drive the song with consistent rhythm and powerful flourishes. The floating theme is strong in this song as Randell’s vocals mix perfectly with the hushed backing instrumentals. Cambridge, track five, begins with a pretty guitar melody that paves the melody for the vocals as well.

Me And Jasper reminds listeners of a Simon & Garfunkel song title, as well as the serene, acoustic guitar and vocal melodies. With such simplicity, Luluc possesses a master ability to engage listeners with dynamic and powerful songwriting. Track seven, Genius, begins with a mixed meter percussion jam similar to that of the accompanying music to the introduction of a magician’s act. This choice to begin a song with such a specific yet free rhythm shows the true artistry of the band.

Moon Girl begins with a basic fingerpicking pattern and beautiful vocal melody to support the music. The horn effects in the song add tremendous background color. Track nine, Needn’t Be, begins with a stunning a capella, twenty-second introductory vocal melody. This builds the anticipation for when all the instruments enter, and makes the song that much more enjoyable. The title track Sculptor begins with edgy music, lyrics and vocal melody. The dark classical guitar strumming’s mixed with bold piano chords creates a very distinct sound and feel for listeners to jump in.

Luluc has proven yet again that they are willing and able to surprise and impress with their outstanding songwriting and exemplary production skills.

Scott J. Herman