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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