Luluc, the Australian duo of Zoë Randell (vocals/guitar) and Steve Hassett (guitar/vocals/keys), visited City Winery on a chilly Wednesday night. But both venue, with its intimate feel — combined with the beautiful sounds of Luluc — warmed up an attentive crowd.
For those unfamiliar with Luluc, the duo create haunting and quiet but textured songs that evoke images in your head. The first lines to one of my favorite Luluc songs, “Small Window,” from their sophomore LP, Passerby, open like poetry or lines in a journal: “Flying over Chicago, bare trees lie in the white snow / Daylight fades and lines of cars flash / Across the night in red and gold.” And the voices that hover over those finger picked guitar lines stick with you.
On their third record, the recently released Sculptor, Zoë and Steve get a little help and open up that sweet sound with guests like Xylouris White and Dirty Three drummer Jim White — as well as Aaron Dessner of The National – who also produced the band’s last two LPs – and J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr fame. Luluc actually performed with J Mascis at City Winery Wednesday night (but I’ll get to that in just a moment).
Watch a video of “Kids” from Luluc’s LP Sculptor (Sub Pop) on YouTube:
Opening for J Mascis, Luluc took the stage to play primarily from their last two albums. Zoë played guitar while Steve traded off between bass, keyboards, and one particular guitar solo — which he explained was performed by none other than J Mascis on the new LP (and who was probably taking notes on how well he was performing said solo, Steve added).
Highlights included the aforementioned “Small Window,” as Zoë mentioned it was one of J Mascis’ favorites, and a new song written at this “multiplex studio” called Funkhaus in Berlin, Germany, during a festival. The song, made with Aaron Dessner, unfolded with the most interesting off kilter beats coming out of speakers on the stage. It was an exciting taste of what this amazing duo has in store for us.
Luluc continues their tour with J Mascis through December. Definitely check them out here.
Without a Face
Progress (new song)
Me and Jasper
Here are some photos of Luluc performing at the City Winery on Dec. 5, 2018. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.