The Lucksmiths – Warmer Corners
The Lucksmiths make perfect pop music sound so easy. So much so that they are often slapped with the “t word”: that dreaded, and often misguided, descriptor of simple, childish indiepop otherwise known as “twee.” The Aussie foursome consistently cranked out dozens of pop tunes during their 16-year career before they disbanded in 2009. Matinée Recordings and Lost and Lonesome Recording Company have teamed up to reissue The Lucksmiths’ full-length catalog on vinyl for the first time ever. Their 2005 full-length Warmer Corners is the first installment of these reissues.
There’s nothing childish or simple about the Lucksmiths’ songs. They are extremely literate, for one. Case in point: they use the word “wont” perfectly in “The Music Next Door.” Not “won’t,” mind you. Yeah, look it up. Warmer Corners is full of these little moments, the moments where you are so wrapped up in the lyric sheet that you can’t put it down while you dance around your room. Musically, The Lucksmiths can be compared to indiepop stalwarts Belle and Sebastian, in particular on Warmer Corners’ closer “Fiction.” They’re certainly not copyists by any means. Their tunes can simultaneously sway and jangle or pogo and groove. And it’s all just effortless.
There are too many standout tracks on Warmer Corners to really warrant any sort of “this is the best song on the record” title. If you’re hearing this record for the first time, which most of you probably are, “Hiccup in Your Happiness” will be your instant favorite since it’s the first track on the record. With its minimalist start of vocals, bass, brushed drums until the strings come in and he sings “…and sad as you are, you’re glad of the wine you brought,” you’ve died and gone to indiepop heaven. Until you get to “The Music Next Door” and he sings the aforementioned “wont” and then he rhymes “when the autumn turned to winter, as autumn ought to do.” Then in “Great Lengths” the story of two lovers and their New Year’s Eve escapades slinks along and you fall deep into the narrative, you feel like you are right there when he sings “You had your father’s charm and thus our mother’s Volvo” or “You kept your distance and me guessing, finally acquiescing only after I’d discovered you kept the things I sent you.” And these are just the first three songs of the first side of this 12-song LP!
The Lucksmiths are proof that pop music is not simple and should not be treated or cast off as music for the immature or nostalgic. Complexity, some say, comes in different shapes and sizes. The Lucksmiths just figured out how to create the utterly complex in 2-3 minutes of simple, pop bliss.