Luluc Captivates with Dreamy Sub Pop Debut

Luluc, Passerby
Out now, Subpop, lulucmusic.com

As opposed to the unmistakable lushness he brought to Sharon Van Etten’s latest release, Are We There, here producer Aaron Dessner takes a backseat—like way, way back—on this Australian duo’s Sub Pop debut. Accompanied by Steve Hassett, Zoe Randell is an effortless singer, and her dreamy vocals—like those of a post-rock Judy Collins, or Nico—seem to magically hover around these 10 lightly embellished songs that require little else. Well-placed soft touches, like the delicate thrum of nylon strings or a gentle piano chord, do the rest, with tender lyrics about the natural world, love, and the ephemeral. If you happen to notice a Nick Drake-like quality, a certain hushed and quiet tone, that’s no mistake; the band is good friends with Drake’s producer, Joe Boyd, and brings forth a similar rainy-day, coffee-shop-ready style. Yet the contemplative Passerby could also soundtrack any number of other activities—like a restful nap with your favorite cat, helpfully suggested by its cover art—and, in contrast with Sub Pop’s increasingly frenetic, experimental roster, is just as refreshing.

 
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