The Lucksmiths – Warmer Corners

The Lucksmiths
Warmer Corners

My personal philosophy provides infinite room for well-written, clever indie pop. From AC Newman to The Shins, a cheerful guitar-pop song with a good turn of phrase never gets old. Enter native Australians The Lucksmiths, a band that takes all the right turns and strums all the right chords. Eight albums into their career, The Lucksmiths haven’t yet felt the need to venture into as-yet uncharted experimental territory; nay, the cheery Aussies are forever content to simply transcribe loving witticisms into song over a medley of strumming guitars, tambourine-heavy percussion, and subtle bass tones.

“A Hiccup in Your Happiness” starts the album off in fine form. Soft and unassuming as the band itself, the beginning of the song slips seamlessly from the silence that precedes it as if hesitant to disturb the listener. Horns drop in on the heels of the strumming, all led by hi-hats that fall in all the right places. The lyrics are vintage Lucksmiths, positive and uplifting in a straight-forward, down-to-earth way: “And it hurts even more than you thought / and it feels like forever just now / but one day you’ll look back on this / as a hiccup in your happiness.”

“The Music Next Door” follows; a sunny guitar lick does its trapeze act over the secure netting of the omnipresent strumming while Marty Donald intones, “I saw the spring become the summer / as the spring is wont to do / and I began to find the boredom almost beautiful.” “Great Lengths” is perfect in its simplicity; there is not an innovative component to be found in the song, yet somehow it’s more stunning for its complacency. “Now I’m Even Further Away” ups the pace a beat with a pounding drumbeat, softened by Donald’s warm vocals.

But perhaps the best song on the album is “Fiction.” Acoustic strumming (of course) slithers over brushed drums and a rolling, seemingly subconscious bass as an accordion drones somewhere in the distance. “Fiction” is effective for its excellent songwriting and remarkable for its slight differences from the other songs: it’s a bit more ambitious without disrupting the accessibility of the rest of the album. When the violins cut in later and the pace is quickened, every little guitar lick, every drum fill, every clever vocal quip reaches its full realization. The album culminates with the ideal capstone: an ascending guitar slide that makes perfect sense of everything the listener has heard.

Because the songs on Warmer Corners lend themselves to cute little blurbs, I could continue ad infinitum – or at least until I ran out of songs to describe. The consistency of Warmer Corners is, in the end, its most gratifying asset. The album lends itself to being played in full, preferably listened to on a hammock with a cold ice tea on a warm summer’s day. The easy, carefree atmosphere is extremely effective; the songs’ warmth of proximity makes each better than it would be if heard alone, resulting in an album that somehow transcends its simplicity and becomes something of remarkable beauty.