What’s the difference between something wonderful in this bedsit dreamy folk-pop world and something, I dunno, kinda shit? Well it’s hard to answer really – it’s about intentions and it’s obviously around what you hear and how much you know going into it. Something like the new Tiny Ruins album succeeds because it’s almost as if she knows all that she’s being compared to and just charges on – well, charges isn’t quite right – there’s no caution in the approach though. There’s a certainty. Then you hear things like Luluc – here with their second full-lengther and though there are some lovely/ish moments it just doesn’t quite seem real.
This is that scenester/wannabe folkish alt-pop. This is a duo from Australia that’s moved to America, that are desperate to present some version of that hideous movie Once, that Swell Season/Frames-related bullshit.
The real reason people might actually pay attention to this act now is because Aaron Dessner is producing, has sorta taken them on board and under his wing and has been charmed by them. He’s the least interesting member of The National – and clearly needs a side-project since his brother and other band members are collecting up side-projects and frivolities.
He treats this music with far too much reverence – as there’s really nothing to hear in these empty-gesture song-husks. But he certainly doesn’t ruin the music. You get the feeling that had already been done when he was handed these lemons. Fans of The National might drink this down and call it lemonade. I call it stunningly average. Nothing more. And sometimes just a little bit less.