One of the joys of Twitter is the discovery of the new and unexpected. So, when the group Lux Lisbon not only followed me but then DMed me inviting me to download their new EP ‘Get Some Scars’ for free, I could hardly refuse, could I? (I’m not naive enough, by the way, to think I was the only person they did this with, but allow me to have a few fantasies…)
According to their website, “Lux Lisbon formed at Nottingham University before moving to London where the 4-piece craft cinematic and harmony-laden indie from their tag-team boy-girl vocals, and the influence of Dog is Dead, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen and Bloc Party.” The group is made up of the following members:
Stuart Rook – Vocals, Keyboards, Songs
Charlotte Austen – Vocals, Bass
Tom Cooper – Guitar, Vocals
Johnny Colgan – Drums
Elliot Phelps – Trumpet
Track 1 Keep Me Wild sounds, to me, like a single ripe to be released, and one that would do very well in the charts. It’s a delightful song, with beautiful haunting harmonies and some lovely brass instrumentation in parts. Following this is Memento Mori, which starts with guitar and leads into the mellow voice of the lead singer in a tune which envelops the listener, even while promising that ‘one day you’re going to die’. Somehow these words don’t seem so worrying within the context of this upbeat song.
Some lovely acapella harmonies introduce the eponymous Get Some Scars, a mellower song with lyrics and tune which manage to inspire a wistful, almost melancholic, air. We enter a whole new area with The Devil Got Me Dancing, the first song to really showcase the talents of Charlotte Austen. The song slowly builds from a gentle introduction to a more energetic later section, much like the story of the Red Shoes, where the Devil has really taken over our singer.
The tone changes completely with Bullingdon Club, which has a rockier tone than earlier tracks, with a rougher, rawer quality as the lead singer bounces through lyrics telling us that ‘the future’s never good enough’. There are slightly NSFW words in the lyrics if this offends your sensibilities. Demons You Show is another solid guitar track, probably my least favourite on the EP, which isn’t saying much as it’s still a darn good tune and includes a little more showcasing of Charlotte’s voice.
In a slightly unexpected turn, Your Heart Is A Weapon The Size Of Your Fist (which wins the award for best song title) introduces some synth elements which I hadn’t seen coming, which make the choruses really quite ‘poppy’. We Don’t Believe In Love No More is a live track (performed at Bestival) and a solid if perhaps unremarkable song.
An acoustic version of Demons You Show really slows the song down. It’s lovely unplugged work, showcasing the musical talents of <singers> but I wasn’t convinced it improved on the earlier version. Charlotte Austen is showcased a little again on Animals, which has a great upbeat feel . The EP concludes with a second version of We Don’t Believe In Love No More, which builds very well on the earlier version. This time the inclusion of synth elements feels like it sits better.
If I had any criticisms of this great EP, it would be that Charlotte Austen’s skills aren’t as well-used as they could be and that, sometimes the style of song the group is aiming for is not as clear as it could be, veering slightly into rock and pop that sit a little at odds with their main indie guitar feel.
But, that said, I would highly recommend this EP from Lux Lisbon and look forward to hearing what their future brings.