Luckless - Luckless
Initially described as "depressive antifolk," Luckless bend towards a rich, complex flavour of melancholia. Ivy Rossiter fronts the two-piece Auckland band with guitar and vocals, backed up by drummer Will Wood.
At first listen, their self-titled debut recalls Portishead and some of Liam Finn, with lush, multi-layered chords and swelling peals of distortion. Wood's insistent drumbeat supports Rossiter's careful, breathy vocals as she pulls her lyrics through a maze of finger-picking and repeated guitar riffs, deepening to more rock-influenced breakdowns.
It's a slow-burn, this album. All but two songs are more than four minutes long, and that extra breathing space is utilised in long, leisurely buildups towards shivering crescendos.
This tendency towards low-energy Jakob-style soundscapes can translate into a loss of impact, particularly in songs like Hummingbird Heart and Fermina Daza. The album seems to struggle with the heavier sound of tracks six to eight, becoming slightly repetitive, but picks up again with the more folk-influenced Cold In Our House.
Luckless are at their best with heavily stylised, lyrics-driven experiments like ballad The Snake and the Crocodile. They seem to find their feet for good in the last three tracks, where each song seamlessly pours itself into the next with smooth, hypnotic ease.
- Sarah Dunn