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  • Entertainment

MUSIC: Australian duo to bring their folk rock to the Grand Social

Saturday, 24th November, 2018 6:00pm
MUSIC: Australian duo to bring their folk rock to the Grand Social

Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett are playing Dublin’s Grand Social on Thursday, February 14.

MUSIC: Australian duo to bring their folk rock to the Grand Social

Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett are playing Dublin’s Grand Social on Thursday, February 14.

AUSTRALIAN indie folk music duo, Luluc, consisting of Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett, are playing Dublin’s Grand Social on Thursday, February 14.

‘Me and Jasper’, from Luluc’s third album ‘Sculptor’, is a confident challenge to small-town insularity, lilting yet vigilant, and championed by a defiant guitar solo from the band’s friend J Mascis.

It’s a reflection on a common pitfall of adolescence; limitless possibility battling constant obstruction.
“My own experiences as a teen were often fraught” says songwriter and vocalist Zoe Randell. “The small town I grew up in provided a great study in gossip, scandal, character assignation and the willingness of people to go along with it.

“It’s a song about fighting for agency on an album that is in many ways about volition and potential; how people can navigate difficulties and opportunities to create different paths.”

Sculptor can be consumed loud because while Luluc’s music is at times masterful in its minimalism, it is anything but quiet in impact.

There’s a before you hear Luluc’s music, and an after - a turning point that affects people with rare force. Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney says: “It’s music that once you hear it, you can’t live without it.”

The National’s Matt Berninger said that for months, Passerby was “the only album I wanted to listen to”.

“What first hits is that voice,” writes Peter Blackstock (No Depression),“a peaceful serenity that reaches deep into the heart.”

When NPR’s Bob Boilen named 2014’s Passerby his album of the year, he wrote: “I’ve listened to this record by Australia’s Luluc more than any other this year. These songs feel like they’ve always been.”

That gripping, imperative quality pulses through Sculptor, perhaps to an even greater extent than on Passerby or Dear Hamlyn (2008). Randell writes with more experimentation and possibility. From the contemplative scene of Cambridge, to the churning disaster chronicled in the title track, the songs on Sculptor are there for the taking.

“Broadly speaking, with these new songs I was interested in the difficulties that life can throw at us - what we can do with them, how they can shape us, and what say we have,” Randell explains. “That potential that is there for everyone, the different lives that are open to us. That’s what I love in Ise’s poem ‘Spring Days and Blossom’ - which form the lyrics to ‘Spring’ - the brimming sense of spring and its cycle, the enormity of what’s possible and the beauty.”

Sonically, the band have broadened their tonal palette following on from the successful collaboration on Passerby, that is co-produced with The National’s Aaron Dessner. Multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer Steve Hassett mastered a wider spectrum of instruments to fully realize the album’s expansive and daring vision.

Randell and Hassett do nearly all of the writing, recording, and producing themselves. and it is obvious that the fact that everyone has control of their own story is what is at the core of ‘Sculptor’.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here