The Lucksmiths - A Hiccup in Your Happiness EP

matinée 060  /  February 2006
The Lucksmiths - A Hiccup in Your Happiness EP
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The Lucksmiths - A Hiccup in Your Happiness EP

matinée 060  /  February 2006

Glorious second single lifted from recent album ‘Warmer Corners’ plus three exclusive new tracks validate yet again why The Lucksmiths are among the most popular indie bands of our time. One listen to ‘A Hiccup In Your Happiness’ and you know it’s apt to be blasted from car stereos and iPods all day long. Boasting strings, horns, some seriously funky guitar and a bassline possibly borrowed from Orange Juice, the song is a dancefloor sizzler that just had to be a single. Its magnificent b-sides are all set in actual places: ‘From Macaulay Station’ is an ode to one of the unlovelier stops on Melbourne’s rail network, ‘Rue Something’ a more-or-less factual account of an evening spent on tour in Paris, and ‘To Absent Votes’ a tale of election night in the Australian outback town of Lake Cargelligo. Combined with ‘A Hiccup In Your Happiness’ they create a brilliant EP designed to give ‘Warmer Corners’ another shot at the glory it deserves. Limited to 1000 copies in custom minijacket sleeve with liner notes from comedian Daniel Kitson.

  1. A Hiccup in Your Happiness
  2. From Macaulay Station
  3. Rue Something
  4. To Absent Votes


I am an enormous fan of Australia’s The Lucksmiths, and this latest single lifted from their wonderful Warmer Corners set (on Matinée or Fortuna Pop) merely cements their place in my heart even more. Lilting and lush, this song settles on your shoulders like a Spring sun and weaves a gently melancholic spell around your spine. And with another three non-album tracks up to the same standard, you would have to be dim or demented not to pick up a copy post haste.   --Tangents
And staying with the Matinée label for the Lucksmiths, who seem to have been around forever ploughing the path of perfect pop. Again another release that seems to have become separated from its accompanying press blurb - but hey never mind because if our ears don’t deceive us and based on the handful of releases we’ve had the fortune of hearing this four track affair could well be their finest and most focused moment to date. Backed by three new tracks, the curvaceous ’A hiccup in your happiness’ is the second cut to be lifted from last years acclaimed ’Warmer Corners’ full length and sounds if truth be known not unlike a more mellowed variant of Hefner being coaxed and comforted by a sympathetic sounding Housemartins, a perfect antidote for all those hiding and hurting as a result of nursing a broken heart all peppered teasingly with a life affirming array of exquisitely sugared Motown derived seductive soul pop string motifs and sunshine beckoning brass fanfares - just how can you resist - pop doesn’t get much better. The theme of optimism in the face of adversity continues in the form of the nimble and simply breathtaking ’From Macaulay Station’. A tribute of sorts to one of ’the more unlovelier stops on the Melbourne rail network’ - acoustically drawn and braided by a lazy viola this baby hurts with such intensity that you feel inclined to embrace and smother it with reassuring kisses. And while your busy picking up jaw from the floor along comes the charming and sprightly sounding idle some ’Rue Something’ with it’s Gaelic folkiness to blow you away. Rounding up an excellent set ’To absent votes’ which has harmonicas aplenty - need I say more. Absolutely essential.   --Losing Today
Sure, everyone likes the Lucksmiths' sunny stuff, but over their last two albums the Australian trio have cast an equally keen eye on half-empty glasses. Guitarist Marty Donald's latest languorous fireplace-snuggler comes aboard where fellow train song "Sandringham Line" left us-- stripped down to fireflies-at-June-dusk acoustic arpeggios, Tali White's trembling tenor, and guest Pete Cohen's intermittently weeping double bass. "I know by now/ That no one cheers up when told to," White begins softly, the sort of concise, obvious-in-retrospect truth of human relationships Donald has been chiseling of late beneath the ornate friezes and trellises of his more characteristic wordplay. "From Macaulay Station" should never come between "T-Shirt Weather" and "Under the Rotunda" at a live show, but it sates what's left unquenched on those bleary, lonely evenings after the glass becomes fully unfull, or when the space from one side of the couch to the other feels like the distance between the Fourth of July and Groundhog Day.   --Pitchfork
The Lucksmiths 2005 album Warmer Corners was like a collection of amazing singles, each song a glittering indie pop gem strong enough to stand on its own. "Hiccup in Your Happiness" is one of the best of them. A low-key, melancholy ballad adorned with shimmering strings and a boisterous horn section, the song features some of Tali White’s most assured and moving vocals to date and is a soothing balm for the broken-hearted. The other three songs on this EP were recorded after the sessions for the album but easily measure up to the high standard set previously. The rollicking and literate "Rue Something" is the winner among them but "From Macauley Station" and "To Absent Votes" have a low-key charm that Lucksmiths fans have come to count on.   --All Music Guide
Hearing the Lucksmiths' "Sunlight in a Jar" playing in a Gap store the other week instantly brightened my day, and made me realize how much I want the whole world to hear their catchy, human, truly remarkable songs. To me any Lucksmiths release is a newsworthy event, even if it's just a four-song single like this one, which is still quite special. Headlining track "A Hiccup in Your Happiness" is one more reminder of how fantastic their 2005 album Warmer Corners is. The album's second single, "Hiccup" is a spunky post-break-up reassurance, driven by horns and strings and choppy guitar. The other three songs on this EP are more ruminative: ballads which carry an acute sense of time and place, plus related feelings and stories. All three are stripped-down and lovely (and to my ear reminiscent in style of some earlier releases, like Staring at the Sky and parts of Why That Doesn't Surprise Me). There's the bittersweet, train-station scene "From Macaulay Station," the late-night-in-Paris tale "Rue Something", and, perhaps best of all, a poignant ode to dashed election-night hopes called "To Absent Votes." All four tracks offer vivid life snapshots within the framework of wonderfully composed and realized pop songs.   --Erasing Clouds
I finally got my hands on “A Hiccup In Your Happiness,” The Lucksmiths’ February release. I often find singles to be yawn-tastic, but not this time. The three new songs are every bit as good as those on Warmer Corners–the album from which the title track comes–and those songs are amazing. I don’t know what it is about the Lucksmiths, but I’d be hard pressed to name something about them that I don’t enjoy. “From Macaulay Station” is a deeply moving song that’s emotional, yet curious in the way that only Lucksmiths songs seem to be. The opening line, “I know by now that no one cheers up when told to,” artfully states an important truth about human interactions. It’s an important statement that kicks off an important Lucksmiths song. It’s easy to see “Macaulay Station” as the next step from Warmer Corners; and if this is where they’re headed, I couldn’t be more excited.   --You Ain't No Picasso
The Lucksmiths may be Australia’s best kept secret - quietly and consistently releasing one indie-rock masterpiece after another since their 1993 debut First Tape. This foursong EP includes the wonderful second single “A Hiccup In Your Happiness” from the band’s most recent album, Warmer Corners, plus three exclusive new tracks. While the single has the classic Lucksmiths combination of smart lyrics and an intricate, melodic arrangement courtesy of guitarist Marty Donald, it’s singer/drummer Tali White’s bittersweet, auto-biographical “Rue Something” that steals the spotlight. Limited to just 1,000 copies in an attractive mini-jacket sleeve, this EP isn’t likely to be available long enough to be of interest to anyone other than the already converted, but you should truly feel ashamed of yourself if you don’t at least try to get your hands on a copy.   --Amplifier Magazine
More light, summertime pop from Australia’s brilliant Lucksmiths. Just finding a new release from this band is enough to put a smile on your face. Proving themselves at the forefront of the genre in a career that spans eight albums and more than 10 years, the Lucksmiths drop perfect 3:30 pop songs the way some folks take breaths. It’s second nature, and it’s effortless. The instrumentation on the title track is really the song’s drawing point. Lush and filled with horns and strings and 60s pop guitars and shimmering beats, the otherwise mid-paced song takes on a life of its own, startling in its heartbreaking melancholy. But that’s just the single. The three exclusive songs are worth the asking price too. “From Macaulay Station” is a quieter track, moody vocals accompanied by acoustic guitar and some deep, rich cello flourishes. I was waiting for the poppier tune, which shows up on “Rue Something,” a lush mix of harmonies and acoustic and electric guitars. Finally, “To Absent Votes” returns to the mid-tempo pop song, painting a quiet picture in its lyrics and instrumentation. I feel that the Lucksmiths have gotten a bit more serious on us over the years. That’s to be expected, as the musicians get older, I suppose. The bouncier songs are fewer, the melancholy songs more common. But every song is as good or better than the last, and with immaculate production, the result is brilliance. Limited to 1,000 copies with liner notes from comedian Daniel Kitson, this EP is a fun little gem.   --Delusions of Adequacy
You’ll know the title track by now – it’s the incredibly laid back track off the last album, so let’s concentrate on the extra three tracks. ’From Macaulay Station’ is an incredibly beautiful and maudlin, almost whispered song that again touches on moving on through the medium of travel. If it’s a splitting up song it could well be up there with the best of them after a few listens. ’Rue Something’ is a whimsical waltz that is slightly more optimistic, but not by much, whilst closing track, ‘To Absent Votes’, tells the sad tale of post election failure. All in all this is a pretty downcast set of Lucksmiths songs. They’re still brilliant of course.   --Tasty
While indie darlings like The Lucksmiths can so often become trapped within their ‘signature’ sound forevermore, fortunately The Lucksmiths themselves have gilded their usual Melbourne pop/folk/whatever template with gorgeous strings and a woozy brass accompaniment on ‘A Hiccup In Your Happiness’, creating a tune perfect for the still-sunny days as summer changes into autumn. And then there’s b-side ‘From Macauley Station’ for when you’re over brass and need to indulge your Truly, Madly, Deeply-esque-cello-led morbidity.   --Inpress Magazine