Uncle Luc - Humblebrag (Super Fan 99 Records)
|Uncle Luc - Humblebrag|
Release Date: 22nd September 2014
Luke Barham is from Surrey. That's a fact. I'm not disputing that. Why would I? But what confuses me is that his minimalist, lo-fi approach to songwriting should, by rights, be coming out of downtown Manhattan or nowhereseville Sacramento. Regardless of geography, however, the man that goes by the stage name of Uncle Luc is something of an understated genius. This debut album opens with 'Leader Boards', a tune so understated that it barely gets out of bed despite some well placed piano notes and muted guitar plucks that are pure early morning delight. 'Farewell Monsoon' has a Sufjan Stevens meets Lemonheads feel to it with a touch of the Flight Of The Conchords about it which, in my book, is all thoroughly good stuff. There is more energy and bounce on 'I Write' with a beautifully thwacked double bass line and some spritely acoustic guitar before 'Happy Too' strides in like Snow Patrol with a sense of humour.
Barham has such a laisez faire attitude mixed with a wry sense of humour that I am not entirely convinced I didn't spend three years knocking around with him at Uni as these seem to have been the main qualities I looked for in a friend - as well as a willingness to buy a round and listen to obscure 90s indie. 'New Illusions' is up next and Uncle Luc is in intimate mood with soft, rolling acoustic notes and near whispered vocals that could be considered creepy if I wasn't utterly sure that this is a recording and there isn't someone sitting next to me. On 'Rainbow' there is a bit more pop swagger along the lines of the Magic Numbers or the Zutons while 'Oldest Friend' is a reflective number which owes a certain amount to the likes of the Kinks or Cat Stevens (or whatever name he goes by these days). The optimistic acoustic tones are slightly at odds with the tragic lyrical tones of 'Frankenstein's Monster' but then 'Still A Country Song' has a spaced out, Flaming Lips meets David Bowie feel to it, neither of whom are particularly renowned for writing country songs. The man is obviously a little odd in the head but then all the best creators are and final track 'Quarter Past Dead' seals the reputation with a dissonant children's orchestra from your nightmares accompanying the acoustic strumming. Bonkers stuff but presented in a gently comforting way - like slippers made of live badgers.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Uncle-Luc/309371199215768?fref=ts
20th September - Southsea Festival Fringe, Southsea
20th September - Southsea Festival, Southsea
23rd September - The Islington, London
1st October - Westend Centre, Aldershot
3rd October - The Flapper, Birmingham
15th October - The Boileroom, Guildford