This new release by Brooklyn’s Lusterlit is really something! A more indie and an absolutely alternative record which is, by all means, a totally dedicated to art (literature) work. You Were Never Really There includes tw0 musical gems of great inspiration; River and Rolodex are composed and inspired equally by Charlie Nieland and Susan Hwang who also share all instruments written for Bushwick Book Club events in Brooklyn, NY and Los Angeles, CA. The whole case is music inspired by Jonathan Ames’ pitch-black novella/film You Were Never Really Here (starring Joaquin Phoenix) in 2017, and it is all a cinematic blend of electronic and acoustic textures: vintage beatboxes, swirling guitars, Korean drum and sublimely layered vocals, all mining Jonathan‘s noirish page-turner for more inspired songcraft about books. A very difficult job to do which requires that certain connection with the writer’s universe, and a mission completed by Lusterlit’s commitment and talent.
Charlie Nieland is an acknowledged multi-instrumentalist, producer and engineer who has worked with numerous names in the wider alternative scene; Blondie-Debbie Harry, Dead Leaf Echo, Rufus Wainright, Scissor Sisters are only a few to mention. Susan Hwang is also a multi-instrumentalist, founder of BBC (Bushwick Book Club), both are singers who alternate lead vocals and harmonies while supporting each other on the rest of instruments, and their band Lusterlit writes songs about books. Songs that are mounted with ‘gaze attitudes along with some quite tribal elements, singing or spoken word vocals that are always narrative, protagonist vocals.
Lusterlit may write cinematic musical and sonic occurrences but they surely show their indie likes, the band grooves when needed and such records are not easy to find anymore. As you understand they make music for art which actually concerns a lot of different people in the audience i.e. I put a couple of their songs on my radio show which is loaded with completely different musings than theirs, from post-punks to new-wavers and cabled electros to experimental industrialists, and believe me, their songs appeared just fine because Lusterlit has That-Special-Something. A very cool project with a serious cause to create and experiment with music, pushing it to the sheer alternative styles.
Written by Mike D.