You Were Never Really Here
Louder than War’s Ioan Humphreys has a listen to some sublime new music from the incomparable Lusterlit.
The creative and prolific Lusterlit have arrived with a new single. I’ve reviewed this brilliantly inventive New York outfit several times for Louder than War. There is something about Lusterlit that I absolutely love. Whether it’s the inspiration that they take from the most disparate of sources; the creativity that the pair of artists seem to ooze; or the connection that they have when performing together. I cannot think of a pair of performers around at the moment who exude the same passion for their art and inspiration that Lusterlit do.
This time, their single is inspired by the Jonathan Ames novella and film ‘You Were Never Really Here’ that is currently collecting plaudits and critical acclaim around the globe. Lusterlit have interpreted, written and created two brand new songs that have been inspired by the book. ‘Rolodex’ and ‘River’ are currently both available on Bandcamp and will be soon available on vinyl 45.
‘River’ has a nice electronic throb that runs throughout. Minimal percussion and ominous vocals come in and are joined with atmospheric experimentation and stabbing guitar noise. Neiland’s ethereal vocals merge and mix with the intense noise as the track builds and builds The vocals get more and more strained and come to a crescendo of dissonance, noise and confusion. The 4.52 track manages to take in pop, rock and sound/noise experimentation that manages to disturb as much as it makes one dance. Impressive stuff.
‘Rolodex’ has a more immediate dance feel that suits Hwang’s laconic vocal delivery perfectly. It’s sexy, groovy and VERY danceable! The second half of the track gets more upbeat and ramps Hwang’s vocals, partially leaving behind the dance groove behind and turning the last third almost into rock territory.
What I love about Lusterlit is their open-mindedness to art and especially books. Yet, they don’t leave the art there. They take it up a notch to create THE most beautiful musical compositions that have been influenced by the written word. They are then shared via their Bushwick Book Club, etc. Just wonderful inspirational stuff.
Lusterlit have recently returned from LA where they performed the songs for the Jonathan Ames Bushwick Book Club event there. Lusterlit had the privilege to hang out with him and they recorded an interview for an upcoming podcast coming soon. Look forward to that.
Here is Charlie Nieland live in LA with ‘River’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVqzm-EXhlg&feature=share
Here is Susan Hwang live in LA with ‘Rolodex’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tec392l2Lso&feature=share
Lusterlit can be found on their website, Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp, Soundcloud and they tweet as @lusterlitnyc.
Words by Ioan Humphreys. More writing by Ioan can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find him on Twitter at @ioan_humphreys.