Luluc’s New Album “Passerby” Simmers Sublimely.

Luluc's Passerby.

Luluc’s Passerby.

It’s taken the indie folk duo of Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett six years to come up with their second album as Luluc. In the interim they signed with Sub Pop, home to Fleet Foxes, Beach House and Wolf Parade as well as, a lifetime ago, Nirvana. And last year they contributed the two best tracks on Way To Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake.

Alt country queen Gillian Welch is a fan, and their new album, Passerby was produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner in New York’s Valhalla borough of Brooklyn.

So we oughtn’t to have been too terribly surprised with the result. Nonetheless, this really is a gorgeous album. Simon and Garfunkel harmonies cloaked in the elegiac melancholia of the aforementioned Drake.

But the figure most clearly evoked throughout is that of Nico. Across the album, Randell’s vocal lines stay unexpectedly flat, only occasionally veering triumphantly up. The results are simultaneously soothing and quietly thrilling.

Nico in La Dolce Vita before joining Reed and Warhol in The Velvet Underground.

Nico in La Dolce Vita before joining Lou Reed and Andy Warhol in The Velvet Underground.

All of which was perfectly captured in the performance they gave of the title track a year and half ago in Dingle for RTE’s mandatory Other Voices here, accompanied by Mr Dessner on keyboards.

Luluc are due to go out on tour with J Mascis, who recently resurrected Dinosaur Jr for their excellent comeback album I Bet On Sky, reviewed earlier here.

That’ll be an interesting combination. In the meantime, have a look at the video for the opening track on their album, Small Window here.

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