The Lucksmiths - San Francisco EP

matinée 057  /  February 2005
The Lucksmiths - San Francisco EP
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The Lucksmiths - San Francisco EP

matinée 057  /  February 2005

Triumphant return of Australian trio The Lucksmiths with an exceptional new EP and the band's first release since 'A Little Distraction' in 2003. Lead track 'The Chapter In Your Life Entitled San Francisco' is taken from the forthcoming album 'Warmer Corners' scheduled for April release and is one of those summery Lucksmiths pop hits with clever lyrics, tambourines, organ and strings. The EP also features three non-album tracks exclusive to this release - 'Young And Dumb' is a lighthearted tune with a great chorus, 'The Winter Proper' a melancholy piano rich song that captures the season perfectly, and 'I Started A Joke' a brilliantly understated cover of the adored Bee Gees' classic. Limited to 1000 copies in custom minijacket sleeve. Watch for US dates in support of the single and album in April and May.

  1. The Chapter in Your Life Entitled San Francisco
  2. Young and Dumb
  3. The Winter Proper
  4. I Started A Joke


The Lucksmiths can seemingly churn out great indie pop with all the effort of turning on their amps. Every record they have done has been textbook from the tender vocals, introspective but not soppy lyrics, easy-going blend of acoustic and electric guitars to the subtle yet striking arrangements and simple production. If you are expecting the next line to say something like here's where the line ends, you will be disappointed. Their seventh release for indie pop stalwarts Matinée Recordings is as fine an artifact as they have yet produced. Title track "The Chapter in Your Life Entitled San Francisco" is a heart-broken ballad the likes of which David Gedge wishes he could still produce, all jangling guitars and wistfulness it is one of their best. "The Winter Proper and "Young and Dumb" don't fall too far behind. Their cover of the Bee Gees' "I Started a Joke" is less effective because the original is so perfect there isn't really much to be done with it. The Lucksmiths drain all the drama out, adding resignation in place of the Gibb's majestic wail and while it works well enough, another original number would have worked even better. Still, this EP is another example of indie pop at its best proving once again that you just can't go wrong with the Lucksmiths.   --All Music Guide
Long-distance love songs are a dime a dozen (AU $0.15), blandly universal and almost universally bland. To their credit, the Lucksmiths opt instead for the near-preciously provincial on their tale of romance rent asunder by intercontinental travel. "Is it April yet?" pines Tali White. "I forget how slowly summer passes." Turns out our bereaved narrator's beloved is "under unfamiliar stars" in that town Tony Bennett once touted, scribbling out lines in a postcard so the poor dude can't read between them and going "a fortnight without so much as an e-mail." WTF, mate! The song's title is a plea against permanence: "[When] you sit down to your memoirs/ Where will this go?" Subtle strings dress up a typically sunny Lucksmiths arrangement, which as on 2003's underrated Naturaliste strolls through British Invasion guitar hooks, melodic bass lines and Aztec Camera-cum-Belle and Sebastian acoustic summeriness. White's bird has flown, but "The Chapter..." is just an EP appetizer for forthcoming shrimp/barbie platter Warmer Corners-- due in April, yet.   --Pitchfork
Perhaps Belle & Sebastian have become the poster children for indie pop, but in my book, there isn’t a band that does it better than Australia’s Lucksmiths. Light and airy, jangly, playful one moment and serious the next, the Lucksmiths may have never written a bad song. And for those who can’t get enough of summery pop, the band is prolific enough to keep these types of teaser EPs in between always sparkling full-length albums. The first track, “The Chapter in Your Life Entitled San Francisco,” is from the band’s new full-length, Warmer Corners, and it’s a wonderful pop song. Gloriously light with a sweet mid-tempo pace, the combination of light guitar, tambourine, organ, and even hints of strings make the song vintage Lucksmiths. And for a band from another continent, lyrics such as, “Are you warm enough? I remember how the fog comes off the water / And the days are ever shorter / And I worry you are cold,” nicely sum up living in San Francisco. The other three tracks are exclusive to this EP. “Young and Dumb” is sweet and more serious, a head-bobbing track with a wonderful chorus you’ll be singing along after just one listen. By contrast, “The Winter Proper” is a proper winter song, slower and more melancholy, with gorgeous vocals, acoustic guitar, and piano. And the closer, a delightful cover of the Bee Gees’ “I Started a Joke,” features subtle banjo and harmonica accompaniments, giving the song a delightful warm and comforting feel. Tali White has the perfect voice: rich, confident, and able whether singing playfully or full of melancholy. And the band backs up those vocals with the perfect mix of light and airy, always summery pop. It’s beautiful and fun, and this release shows that the band has not changed its sound but always gets better. This is the indie-pop band all others should be compared to.   --Delusions of Adequacy
Last up from what has been a superb set from the Matinée stable comes via the ever-wonderful Australian trio the Lucksmiths. Lying sultry and lazier than two weeks in the peak season on the Caribbean this EP gives further evidence (as though it was needed) that the Lucksmiths are perhaps the southern hemispheres worst kept secret. What makes the Lucksmiths such a treat in terms of listening pleasure is the ease at which their compositions seemingly wash over you always catchy enough to keep you close with the promise of richly drawn song writing, take for instance the lead cut ‘’The Chapter in your Life entitled San Francisco’ (a little taster from their soon to be released full length ‘Warmer Corners’) which ekes out of the speakers more like a drip than a flood and before you know it decorating your whole listening space with a carpeting of fertile luxuriant greenery in which to laze idly and observe the day waning towards dusk. ‘Young and Dumb’ has that faraway mellowing Southern breeze about it that’s more associated with the likes of the equally underrated Moviola while the gem like ‘The Winter Proper’ is tenderly aching in all the right places leaving you emotionally sapped by the close. Personally though the centrepiece arrives at the finale. Acting perhaps as a perfect way to pay respect to the second anniversary of Maurice Gibb’s passing a tearful and, dare we say it, masterly cover of the Bee Gees ‘I started a joke’ which pop pickers originally appeared on the ‘Ideas’ full length in 1968 and of which we will hold our hands up and say rather loudly is as deserving a place in any well ordered record collection as any of the early Gibb brothers 60’s Polydor albums – so there, I‘ve said it now. Blessed with a harmonica that’ll cut you in half and housing a numbing sensitivity that’ll leave you silent with jaw dropped for its entire duration. Absolutely perfect in other words.   --Losing Today
I'm hoping the Lucksmiths get full-scale recognition when they become the Rafael Palmeiro of the music world. Not the steroid-fibber, but the guy who's referred to so often as "one of the most underrated" that he can no longer be considered underrated. With this EP, the Lucksmiths continue to make the kind of pop that, when noticed, has to be appreciated. The three originals here all have catchy melodies and lyrics that envelope you in the Lucksmiths' reflective moods. "The Winter Proper" hints melodically at the Decemberists' "I Was Meant for the Stage" but with none of the affect. The bonus: a cover of the Bee Gee's "I Started a Joke," which is serviceable if undemanding, yet a nice twist for fans.   --Stylus Magazine
The Australian trio keep the releases steadily coming via the lovely Matinée label. Lit by West Coast harmonies, their Gene-like dramatic jangle accompanied by strings bringing subtle pathos to the title track. The Lucksmiths are about as unpretentious as they come and their fairly straight interpretation of the Bee-Gees ‘I Started A Joke’ at the rear of this EP, where harmonica seeps gentle through the emotive outter lining, sums this up. The Lucksmiths may not be a band that will change your life but they may just be the cause of you having a gorgeous day.   --Vanity Project
From the Australian indie pop darlings’ new album 'Warmer Corners' comes the single, 'The Chapter In Your Life Entitled San Francisco'. The Lucksmiths may not be a household name, but their reputation is ever improving, as their music becomes increasingly refined. This is one of their most lovely songs. The point when vocalist Tali White’s voice swoops over the chorus line is one of the highlights of their entire catalogue, and the combination of his clear tones and the sweeping strings and harmonica is thoroughly affecting. The three bonus tracks are nearly as good. ‘Young and Dumb’ is catchy and bouncy, with some neat jingly jangly guitar playing. ‘The Winter Proper’ is a melancholy lament, based around acoustic guitar and piano, not dissimilar to their marvellous ballad ‘The Great Dividing Range’. If this song isn’t good enough to make the cut for the new album, 'Warmer Corners' must be an absolute stunning. Finally, they cover the Bee Gees ‘I Started A Joke’ with aplomb, turning it into a perfect porch ballad, drenched in wailing harmonica. I’ve always liked The Lucksmiths. They've always been able to write sad but witty songs, but this new single suggests they have become much better musical arrangers. The grander style suits them well.   --Pennyblack Magazine
Much finer are a couple of four track CD singles on the ever marvellous Matinée. First up are the Lucksmiths. Lead cut ‘The Chapter In Your Life Entitled San Francisco’ is a real gem with one of those memorable sing-along chorus lines that stick in your head for days on end and that you find yourself singing aloud at bus stops. Elsewhere there’s a great take on The Bee Gee’s beautiful ‘I Started A Joke’. It’s one of my favourite Bee Gees singles, and the Lucksmiths were always going to have to go some to even begin to match Robin Gibbs’ gloriously tortured delivery. To their credit they do a fine job, playing the same kind of downbeat card that Harvey Williams came up trumps with on his take on the equally wonderful ‘Kilburn Towers’ that follows it on 1968’s fine Idea album. Definitely one to pick up as soon as possible, the more so since it’s limited to a run of 1000 copies.   --Tangents