Words by Natalie Blacklock
For many music lovers, there’s always one band that manages to capture something so raw and so special in their music. It’s an inexplicable feeling that washes over you with every first listen, with every subsequent sing-a-long in your car, and every bang of your head in a moshpit – it’s almost like love at first sight over and over again. For me, one of those bands is Tasmania’s favourite sons, Luca Brasi. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been on the Luca Brasi train since the very first time I saw them – if memory serves correctly, it was in March 2014 for their ‘By A Thread’ tour at Crowbar Brisbane (RIP) and I was bloody excited! In the months before, I’d heard them quite regularly on Triple J’s Short. Fast. Loud. and was utterly taken by their newest single Borders and Statelines. Since then, I’ve seen Luca Brasi maybe 25 or 30 times and unsurprisingly, my feelings are still the same as they were that very first time.
Luca Brasi are:
Tyler Richardson – Vocals / Bass Guitar
Patrick Marshall – Rhythm Guitar / Vocals
Thomas Busby – Lead Guitar
Danny Flood – Drums
Now in their 12th year as a band, Tassie lads Luca Brasi have continued pushed their musical boundaries with their fifth album, ‘Everything is Tenuous’. Propelled by the inactivity brought about by COVID-19 and the uncertainty of widespread touring any time soon, the time was right for Luca Brasi to try something new. Spurred on by friends, the four-piece bought a bunch of gear, taught themselves how to use it and took their first foray into self-recording with a little help from Darren Cordeux (Kisschasy), before shipping it off to Grammy-nominated engineer Andrei Eremin (Tash Sultana / Chet Faker) for mixing. The result is game-changing, with ‘Everything Is Tenuous’ undoubtedly delivering some of Luca Brasi’s most powerful and hard-hitting songs to date. On the whole, the record is uplifting, commanding and sophisticated, and feels like a natural progression from the band’s 2018’s ARIA-nominated ‘Stay’, and demonstrates growth in songwriting and musicality from 2016’s ‘If This Is All We’re Going To Be’ as well earlier efforts ‘By A Thread’ (2014) and debut record ‘Extended Family’ (2011), delivering fans yet another stellar Luca Brasi record.
‘EVERYTHING IS TENUOUS’ TRACK LISTING:
1. Never The Right Time
2. Dying To Feel Alive
3. Tangled; Content
4. Remiss of Me
5. This Selfish Love
7. The Truth
8. Led Astray
9. Every Time You’re Here (I’m Gone)
10. Sea Sick (feat. Kat Edwards)
Album opener, Never The Right Time, is just like a warm hug from an old mate. Drummer, Danny Flood kicks off the track before Frontman and Bassist Tyler Richardson’s vocals serenade right from the first note. The backing vocals from Guitarist Patrick Marshall on this one is sure to propel this song to a live favourite in no time. Second track, Dying To Feel Alive is all about reflection – in the current state of the world, pressing pause feels impossible most of the time, but this track an important reminder to try to feel positive about the good things and to take a break once in a while. The ‘bridge’ is a standout, with punchy chops of guitar from Thomas Busby and Patrick Marshall framing the rousing refrain; “For the first time in a long time, I’m drunk on nothing but you”.
Wistful nostalgia meets vocal urgency follows up on Tangled; Content, as Frontman Tyler Richardson once again hits us right in the feels with the perfect combination of power and emotion. Written about the shortness of life’s important moments, this is a perfect representation of Luca Brasi’s progression into a more mature writing space. Over the years, they band have become synonymous for their evocative and striking songwriting; an element of their creativity that has made them and their music so damn relatable for any listener and this track is no exception.
Remiss Of Me provides for a strong, soaring singalong. With energetic guitar action coming through from Thomas Busby and Patrick Marshall paired with Frontman Richardson’s uniquely Australian twang on vocals plus the addition of strong backing ‘gang vocals’, this track rings true as a perfect driving song. Released as a single just over a year ago, This Selfish Love is another hard-hitting and honest tune from the Tassie lads. With lyrics like “I can’t love myself so I’ll love you enough, to try and find some worth”, the track presents as a love song of sorts, as it grapples with feeling unsure of oneself at every turn and needing someone to hold things together in those fragile moments.
The next track, Restless, is a slowburn akin to the sounds of Ceres or The Smith Street Band, both of whom Luca Brasi have toured with in the past. With introspective dialogue penned into its lyrics, the song simmers before colliding in a ‘wall of sound’ showcasing Luca Brasi’s proficiency as musicians as every inch is filled with roaring Guitars, hard-hitting Bass and ever-steady hands on the Drums. The Truth, premiered on Speak Up! Stay ChatTY’s Instagram last week, is an emotional – yet upbeat – ride. Speaking of the track, Frontman Tyler Richardson noted that it is a reflection of his personal experiences with cycles of loss and grief through his adult life and how hopeless he feels during those periods. The simple and almost conversational lyricism behind The Truth is sure to heavily resonate with people who’ve had similar experiences with losing people they care about – including this reviewer. Hitting an upbeat once again, Led Astray is one of those songs that will surely join the regular fold of a live set. Tyler Richardson’s lyricism on this track is honest and poignant as the words “The world is one beautiful place; The world is one mess of a place” ring out, offering the listener an introspective look at life on tour as a band and what it’s like for the loved ones left at home. The band’s newest single Every Time You’re Here (I’m Gone), is another top-shelf Luca Brasi number that hugs the soul and doesn’t let go. Sounding almost like ‘spoken liner notes’, the track is a stirring ode to the most important people in their lives, giving the band a chance to stop and let their nearest and dearest know just how vital they are.
Sea Sick, the final track on ‘Everything is Tenuous’, is a bit of a change of pace and sees fellow Tasmanian Kat Edwards jumping aboard guest vocals. In terms of tone, the song is reminiscent of the band’s 2014 track, Western Junction, and would fit in nicely as a mid-to-late set acoustic break in a live setting. Frontman Richardson’s melancholic vocals carry the track through seemingly conflicting feelings of honesty and regret, and when paired with Edwards’ vocals, it stands strongly as a perfect closer for the record.
‘Everything is Tenuous’ is nothing short of trademark Luca Brasi; sweetly melodic with a strong lyrical undertone of melancholia as the band wrestles with losing mates, regret, burnout, getting older and understanding where exactly they fit in the world. The album acts as a timely reminder to all of us that life is fragile and fleeting, so it’s important to take the time to really appreciate what matters because sometimes a lifetime feels like a lifetime, and sometimes a lifetime is gone in an instant.
Luca Brasi‘s new album ‘Everything Is Tenuous’ is out TODAY (Friday February 12th) via Cooking Vinyl Australia – you can pick yourself up a copy HERE.
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Thanks to Deathproof PR