Luluc cast ten songs into the world some months ago. Since then, the songs have fluttered and flown into the homes and hearts of many. With a few sparse instruments in hand, Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett have played their music in various places all over the world; from New York, to Dublin, to Nottingham, to Glasgow and lots of places in-between. Only last week they ventured to the small gold rush town of Beechworth in North East Victoria to play a music festival, and now they make their way to Melbourne to perform in The Zoo, alongside local songstress Sarah Blasko. Their album, Passerby, knows no bounds, with stories, recollections and memories that interlace with the music to make something somewhat magical.
Luluc writes of their Passerby story so far:
It is a pretty wild time and sometimes hard to fathom. Last week we were in Glasgow, and then three days later in Beechworth. The schedules were quite intense on the J Mascis tour that took us around the US and UK over the past few months, so not much time for writing unfortunately. But plenty of bits collected along the way for when there is time to create.
The tours, the album, the music:
We have toured in America and the UK for the first time. And released an album worldwide. A lot of work went into all of that. So we were busy before, and we are still busy! We don’t really harbour expectations about how things will go, it’s pretty much folly to do so. Of course, you hope your music will resonate with people, so it wonderful that it is going so well.
The music knows no parameters:
We have never felt particularly tied to our home country in terms of our music, it has always been something that has been quite outside those parameters, which I guess is why it is felt very natural to live overseas so much with our work. It never occurred to me that people in different places wouldn’t get it. We are drawing on musical influences from all the places we are touring and it has felt very natural wherever we have gone so far. Music is great in that way, it breaks down many potential barriers, especially the human voice.
Passerby has a lot of additional instrumentation. There is double bass, some drums/percussion, trombones, a horn section in one, a string quartet in another, electric guitars. But when we tour, we do so as a duo. And part of the fun for us, has been working out what and how to include aspects of the other instrumentation and textures on Passerby by ourselves. So we now have a lot more gear on stage with us now, and there is quite a bit of instrument changing/swapping etc going on, especially for Steve, who plays a lot of instruments.
The music community:
It is difficult to quantify, but you learn so much from other artists, both what you’d like to do, and what not. Which is all very important. The thing that’s lovely is that the creative communities we are part of are full of unique and interesting artists. And the generosity we have been shown by many of them has been incredible.
The artistic pursuit:
I think you have to have a clear idea of what motivates your work, and That is something that has always been very clear for me. Reminding
yourself of the point of your artistic pursuits is important along the way, especially as different pressures and interests start to become involved.
Obviously if you are really barking up the wrong tree and your music does not seem to resonate with people at all, you may need to re-asses, but
essentially artwork is a generous act, and music is very important to people. It has been for me, and that is as good a guide as I have to go on.
The Album, Passerby:
Ideas for the songs often came quite naturally, but then seeing them through to finished pieces was at times very difficult. As was the recording. We had tried recording the songs quite a few times before we found the right way to express each one. The production process, arrangements etc was difficult too, as we had ideas, but not the full skills to fulfill what we could hear. Once we started working with Aaron Dessner the songs all came to life in the way we were hoping. The whole process required a lot of patience from us, but we knew when it was right.
What lies ahead for Luluc:
We will be back to New York in late April and more touring coming up over 2015. In the down time, we will start working on new songs and recordings. We have a lot of great people working with us now, at Sub Pop, our management, and booking agents, so we are in much better position to work on music in the year ahead when we aren’t touring. But who knows what will come up, it is impossible to predict!
Zoo Twilights 2015
Friday 6 February – Melbourne Zoo – Sarah Blasko with special guest Luluc
Friday 13 February – Taronga Zoo – Sarah Blasko with special guest Luluc
Find Tickets to see Luluc at Zoo Twilights here