The Lucksmiths - Friendless Summer

matinée 027  /  June 2001
The Lucksmiths - Friendless Summer
7"   $4.00

sold out
digital   $2.00

The Lucksmiths - Friendless Summer

matinée 027  /  June 2001

Return of Australian hitmakers with two exclusive songs timed to coincide with their headlining tour of the US in June and July. Recorded by the illustrious Karl Smith (Sodastream) just after the band's recent full length "Why That Doesn't Surprise Me," this limited 7" includes new tracks "Friendless Summer" and "Goodness Gracious" all wrapped up in a sizzling full color sleeve.

  1. Friendless Summer
  2. Goodness Gracious


With their latest long player, Why that doesn't surprise me, packed in their suitcases, The Lucksmiths have set off once again to the United States, via Japan, to spread their upbeat folk-pop to the indie pop fans who await with open arms. With their new album already having a domestic release in the USA, it seemed fitting they make the tour an extra bit special by releasing a 'tour single' featuring two tracks that weren't quite finished in time for the album. Recorded with Sodastream duo Karl Smith and Pete Cohen, Friendless Summer and Goodness Gracious reflect a more melancholic side to the Luckies and the growing talents of songwriter Marty Donald. Friendless Summer is sweetly sad, "I didn't see the dangers in hoping nothing ever changes til we said goodbye as strangers for the first time in so long", and it is hard not to feel guilty humming along to a song that seems to have been born from a particularly unhappy time. In Goodness Gracious, a thick warm bassline seeps through the gentle acoustic strumming and tales of despondent resignation "What a beautiful day for a crushing defeat" and "I've seen better days, the weekend was mine to waste " but as the chorus trails off to Ba ba bada bas the only patience of ours the Lucksmiths try is that of waiting until they play our town again. The Lucksmiths can drop in uninvited anytime.   --Oz Music Project
The Lucksmiths' sweet, melodic pop tunes come from their experiences, from people they've met, stories they've been told, places they've been, events they've experienced. In other words, from real life. That fact is part of what makes this Melbourne, Australia band's music so affecting; their songs are about universal experiences like falling in and out of relationships, spending time and breaking your leg. When you get right down to it, they're mostly about love, as is most pop music (and most art, really). But the Lucksmiths manage to capture both the giddy and sad sides of love better than most. The other things that make their deceptively simple pop songs strike such the right chord with listeners' hearts include lead vocalist/drummer Tali White's gentle voice and all three members' knack at writing lyrics that are both witty and heartfelt. The Lucksmiths are wordsmiths at their core, constantly taking common phrases and cleverly twisting them, juxtaposing certain words for effect and in general just using words in a more careful and smart way that most songwriters do. Currently finishing up a tour of North America, the band has recently released a two-song 7" to celebrate the tour. "Friendless Summer" and "Goodness Gracious" fit right in qualitywise with the other songs in their catalogue. Both are sweet downers, songs about feeling disappointed. The first track's disappointment comes from a friend/potential lover's announcement that she's in love (with someone else), while the second track, which has a nice mellow groove about it, deals on the surface with feeling glum after your favorite football team's defeat ("soccer" for us dumb Americans), but under the surface again about loneliness and unrequited love. As a tour-only 7" it's perhaps not as essential as Why That Doesn't Surprise Me, but it's one more example of the gifted songwriters that the Lucksmiths are. Here's a dare worthy of the most difficult "reality TV" show: listen to just one Lucksmiths release and try to resist the urge to go out and buy everything they've put out thus far. Go ahead, I dare you.   --Erasing Clouds
If someone asked me to sum up The Lucksmiths in a single word, I would have a very difficult time deciding. How do you narrow a group, any group, down to a single word? It's damn near impossible. I could, however, narrow it down to two, quite descriptive words: peaceful and nostalgic. The Lucksmiths craft some of the most peaceful pop music in existence. The guitars are light and relaxing. The vocals have a laid-back Australian drawl. The percussion is a simple and quiet shuffle. It is lovely and it is beautiful. Their songs are also quite nostalgic. That's just how this group works. Their liner notes about the 2001 journey through the US are written with a mild sort of existentialism, there's an off-hand comment about being “handcuffed in Michigan” and a brief description of how the single was born out of a simple phone call of Hey, we're in town! to the main man of Matinée Records (Jimmy Tassos). “Friendless Summer” has hints of regrets encased in a warm summer day while “Goodness Gracious” covers a crushing defeat of a football (or soccer, if you're in the US) match. Peaceful and the nostalgic, the songs live up to The Lucksmiths' brand of pleasant pop music—perfect for an evening drive through the desert with the windows rolled down, music turned up, and a gang of fun-loving friends by your side.   --Fensepost
Australia's finest are back again, just a couple of months after releasing 'Why That Doesn't Surprise Me', their first "real" album since 1997. This time, they have recorded two songs especially for Matinée Recordings (see last month's Label Spotlight), who have chosen to release them both on a nice piece of seven inch vinyl and to name it 'North American Summer 2001', to coincide with the band's recent US tour. And we all know what we'll get when we buy a record that says 'The Lucksmiths' on the sleeve; snappy pop songs, clever lyrics and brilliant bass-playing courtesy of Mark Monnone. Among many other things. The last two things I have mentioned are included here, but the pop songs are not very snappy. Don't get me wrong here, the songs are great as usual, but they are more mid-tempo and slow then the Housemartin-esque, fast pop that we have learned to love The Lucksmiths for. The A side is 'Friendless Summer', a typical mid-tempo Lucksmiths song, with singer Tali White once again standing behind his minimal drumkit (on the last album he had switched to regular drums), and you immediately feel safe and comfortable when you hear his great voice. Actually, I think his voice is getting better with every release, and is nowadays a far shot from the Tali we heard on'Pleasure and The Adolescent Song Of Mindless Devotion.' Not that he had a bad voice then, it's just that he manages to stay in key much better now. The B-side, 'Goodness Gracious', sounds a bit like 'The Opposite Of Coffee' (from the EP 'Staring At The Sky' that came in 1999), with it's slow pace. But actually you could compare it anyone of The Lucksmiths' slower songs. You won't be too far off the spot. At the moment, the guys are taking a rest, but will be back in Europe to tour in the early autumn. Be sure to catch them playing live when they get here, because they are really really great on stage. When playing at the Emmabodafestival in Sweden two years ago, they spent five of their 45 minutes describing the Australian version of football, and even gave away three of their CD's to a lucky contest winner in the audience. Since then, they have added a fourth member when playing live, Darren Hanlon, who is also an excellent solo artist (he released the EP 'Early Days' last year, and it's smashing!). A quick note too about the producers of this great single, Karl Smith and Pete Cohen. Normally, they make up the band Sodastream, who released one of last year's best albums, 'Looks Like A Russian', and they will also be touring Europe this autumn. Be there...   --Pennyblack Magazine
The Lucksmiths return to Matinée with the North American Summer 2001 7" which has two tracks of their familiar strummy/jangly pop which won't disappoint fans of this band. Incidentally, this is the last 7" on the label to be in a wraparound sleeve and plastic bag - a shame as I like those kind of sleeves... Oh well, it is the music that matters in the end though, and the new sleeves still look good, but there's just something really INDIE POP! about the plastic bag sleeves...   --Aquamarine
Both of these tunes are slow and elegant (like most of their last album). If this awesome trio isn't huge in the next year or so then something is definitely wrong.   --Dagger
The Luckys were on tour for the past couple months, and to celebrate, Matinée has released a two song single. Sure, it's a little late - though the songs were recorded back in Australia before they left for the USA, it wasn't actually released until halfway through the tour. And as I type this now, they've only got about a week left here. No problem, though, as we'll have these songs forever, which is what pop music's all about, right? Oh, as for the songs, they're both mid-tempo tunes (how un-summer!), similar to their last cd, "Why That Doesn't Surprise Me". One is a sadder tune about loneliness in the summertime ("Friendless Summer") and the other is about Marty's luckless favorite football team (St. Kilda, in case you were wondering). And it comes with a little flyer with all their tour dates (and a few that fell through) on it. MTQ=2/2   --IndiePages
A special tour-only 7" with two new tracks by the wittiest band in Australia The Lucksmiths. "Friendless Summer" is well pretty self explanatory just like the 7" says in the liner notes. "Goodness Gracious" is another mellow affair. The Lucksmiths have mellowed a bit over the years, and really focus on the lyrics nowadays it seems. Steady and true is one of the best ways to describe these guys.   --The Bee’s Knees