February 23, 2011

The Luyas – Too Beautiful to Work (w/ full SSUC set)

Posted in bootleg, mp3, mumbling at 7:30 pm by rgsc

photo by SarahBrideau.com from 2008 (in Montreal?)

It is a good time to exist my friends, because The Luyas‘ stunning new record “Too Beautiful to Work” was released yesterday and our ears are filled with wonderful sounds. Mysterious, haunting, beautiful sounds unlike anything else you are likely to encounter.

You should go, now, to Idée Fixe Records where you can stream the full album, download two tracks and where you can, nay must!, buy it.

There is a dreamy quality that coats the album. Jessie Stein’s unique voice reaches out plaintively as the music swirls and builds, until things become urgent – like at the 1:41 mark of “Worth Mentioning” where bells ring and penetrating drumming kick in propelling the vocals along. The shifts in the record – from lush to chaotic – make for some extremely memorable moments. The listener is kept off balance and alert, waiting for the next shift or surprise. And there are so many wonderful surprises here. Strange sounds permeate the record –  is it effects-laden frenchhorn? the mythical moodswinger? strings or keyboards or horns or something else entirely? The listener is frequently left guessing. Lyrics are repeated, the words gaining meaning each time they are said, each time a new layer of sound is placed behind or over them.

The records is precisely crafted. With so many intricate pieces fitting together, with so many places where the seams could split apart, all the sounds are marshaled together without things feeling constrained. This delicate balance that is achieved on TBTW, between the chaotic and the restrained, makes the record so special.

Back in 2007 I said that The Luyas “are jubilant and terrified, strange and wonderful.” I think this is as applicable to TBTW as it was to “Faker Death“, perhaps, though, more jubilant than terrified but still strangely wondrous and wonderfully strange.  They are more confident and commanding without losing their sense of awe or their willingness to joyfully explore dark corners.

The Luyas are embarking on a tour. You should go see them if they wander into your neighbourhood. They are playing many places Canada & the United States & Europe. They aren’t playing Kingston again, at the moment, but perhaps they will stop by soon. Here are some of their upcoming dates. See their site for full listings.

02/24 Montreal, QC- La Sala Rossa
02/26 Quebec City, QC- Le Cercle
03/04 Charlottesville, VA- Jefferson Theatre w/ Ra Ra Riot
03/06 Jacksonville, FL- Jack Rabbits w/ Ra Ra Riot
03/07 Ft. Lauderdale, FL- Culture Room w/ Ra Ra Riot
03/08 Orlando, FL- The Social w/ Ra Ra Riot
03/09 Tampa, FL- Crowbar w/ Ra Ra Riot
03/11 New Orleans, LA- One Eyed Jacks w/ Ra Ra Riot, Givers
03/12 Baton Rouge, LA- Spanish Moon w/ Ra Ra Riot
03/14- 03/20- Austin, TX- South By Southwest

Buy the records from Idée Fixe (Canada) and Dead Oceans (elsewhere).

For Pop Montreal, The Luyas created an installation/performance space/event called “Everything is Outta Sight”. They made an enchanted forest from paper and lights. The evening was filmed and it can now be viewed here:

A year ago I saw The Luyas perform – they were haunting a stunning church. I have put some of the tracks online previously, but here is the full set. Enjoy.

The Luyas, Sydenham St. United Church, Kingston 2 February 2010

1. Cold Canada
2. makes you blind (talk)
3. Tiny Head
4. Dumb Blood
5. alright? (talk)
6. Seeing Things
7. Canary
8. Moodslayer
9. Pietro walks (talk)
10.  I Need Mirrors
11. kind ladies and sirs (talk)
12. Worth Mentioning

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