I have been reliably informed by some people properly in the know that Swindon singer-songwriter Luke De-Sciscio has, despite being a relative youngster, been around a while, showing great promise and developing quickly. However, he is a new discovery to me, having had a recent dalliance with a full on rock n roll band (the excellent Dollrats) that has sadly ended (like all the best affairs do eventually), leaving him to concentrate on solo material again. And whilst that is a sad loss to guitar band music, it is also a huge gain, for Luke’s new solo work is something really quite special.
Stylistically, he follows the well-worn path of acoustic folky loveliness as popularised by the like of Damian Rice and Bon Iver. The mellow and peaceful songs blend plucked acoustic strings with soft piano lines, all underpinning the real star of the show, that silky smooth voice, clear and soft. It is a hell of an instrument to have at his disposal, able to convey vast ranges of emotion. The arrangements are kept simple, but with little flashes of creativity and curiosity and clever but spare production, never over-produced or gimmicky.
The songs themselves are poetic works of art. The words conjure beautiful images as you listen and absorb them, really putting you into a particular place and time, moving you as you connect with the melodies, tone and words. Examining the frayed edges of human emotion they are delicate and beautiful, full of passion, loss, remorse and hope. There is fragility to them, but as you listen it becomes a brittleness that disguises a core of an altogether stronger and more determined spirit.
These are songs that stay with you long after you have listened to them, lifting the soul one minute, filling you with bleakness the next. The rollercoaster journey they take the listener on makes you ache, haunting you with the stories they contain. Yes at first glance there is a sense of over-emotional angst to the songs, lyrics that potentially could sound like a sixth-form book of poetry. But properly interpreting the passages reveals greater depth to them, and a clever simplicity that delivers the intended message clearly and concisely.
In short, you need to open your soul to Mr De-Sciscio, invite him in and let him soundtrack the rainiest days of your life for you.
The EP can be downloaded from Luke’s Bandcamp page here.
This review was first published by greenmanmusic.biz.