2018 album also available in CD.
‘Sculptor’ is Luluc’s gorgeous third album which includes guest appearances from J. Mascis, Aaron Dessner of the National, Jim White of the Dirty Three, Dave Nelson and Matt Ecles. ‘Sculptor’ can be consumed loud; because while Luluc’s music is at times masterful in it’s 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 it’s 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’, 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, but their vision is far from insular. In addition to Mascis, Sculptor features contributions from several friends including Dessner (shreds on “Kids” and programmed drums on “Heist”) and Jim White of Dirty Three (drums on “Genius”) as well as musicians Matt Eccles on drums and Dave Nelson on horns. Recording took place in Luluc’s new Brooklyn studio, which they built themselves. The new studio is volition and potential in action and even incorporates reclaimed cedar from Dessner’s iconic former Ditmas Park studio, where The National and Luluc had both lived and recorded.