Jersey-born singer-songwriter Luke Elliot releases his third studio album, Dressed For The Occasion, in Australia today, and you can hear the whole thing in full right here and now.
In typical Australian fashion, our country is actually a bit late to the Luke Elliot party; this album was released in Europe in June 2016, but, then again, his home country has only just seen it released too, so maybe we're not so far behind as Europe is just super-ahead of the curve.
Elliot is renowned for his penchant for storytelling, a talent he's been honing since his early childhood, when he first started writing tales and poems and worrying his teachers. ("I made up a story about a kid looking through a lock in a door and seeing his dad having an affair on his mom and then he went and killed the woman," he said. "I was in third grade ... they called my parents in for that one.")
Having garnered comparisons to the likes of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits, Elliot blends an eclectic array of influences across the album's tracklist, from John Coltrane and Duke Ellington to The Cramps, Gun Club and even spaghetti western films, to name but a few of the sounds that peep through from beneath the surface.
Dressed For The Occasion was produced, recorded and mixed by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Kurt Vile), mostly live, and mostly to analog tape.
"We had one musician with us who played like 80 different instruments, so there's a lot of violin, cello, mandolin, dobro, different organs — pump, Hammond, and Farfisa," Elliot said. "We did it in Halden, Norway, in this studio called Athletic Sound that had all this just really incredible tape equipment. So we did it as authentic as we could and then we had it mastered at Abbey Road Studios for vinyl."
Elliot delves into narratives both fictitious and honest, touching into his own personal experiences on tracks such as Blue & Green and Let It Rain On Me, and reimagining Get 'Em While They're Hot, a track from his debut EP (Death Of A Widow) "because we loved the way that it sounded and watned to have a fresh take on it".
Evidently, it's a labour of love and a lot of thought and effort has gone into crafting this album, so sink your teeth into it through the stream below.
Dressed For The Occasion is out now through Jullian Records.