18 Oct 2018
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Lucas O'Connell - Songs to Sleep On Album Review

10 Nov 2013 // A review by Janise Kumar

Music voyager Lucas O’Connell has released a beautiful debut album, Songs to Sleep On that encapsulates his skills to meaningfully personify all that is around him. The album was recorded primarily in Wellington’s Surgery Studios under the guidance of his main studio engineer Dr. Lee Prebble. But ‘worldly’ is the word that is evoked when listening to this album. O’Connell has collaborated with renowned artists from all over the globe to record this snapshot of the stark realities of life. 

The album opens with the uncandid truths of Information Overload. The song melodically emotes the dismal melancholy of the 21st Century, corporate-controlled world we live in. 

Busking Man showcases the beautiful mastery of O’Connell’s compostion and the fluency of his collaborators. O’Connell, the observant traveller, empathises with the strangers on the street, bringing those black-and-white, one-dimensional figures into full-blown technicolour. 
The romantic ballad, Liquid Night, contains a very gorgeous strum and the O’Connell’s distinctive vocals and bohemian song writing in Wandering Girl remind me of vivid photojournalism. He manages to capture an entire description of society through simple lyrics and melodies. 

My favourite track, Ocean War, made me really sit down and listen to O’Connell the story teller. The singer plays the role of Virgil and tells the tales of the ocean and the mythical folklore surrounding it. 

Haunting echoes of backing vocals over O’Connell’s voice in Songs for a Ghost distinguish the closing track. His languid minor notes, his distinctive vibrato; when he joins in to hum with those echoes it is music magic and something really eerie is conjured up. 

It is difficult to believe that Songs to Sleep On is O’Connell’s debut album as the work is flawless in its delivery. He is an established world-traveller and this is apparent in his mature approach to song writing and production.

Realism seems to be a favoured style of songwriting at the moment, with the popularity of artists such as Ed Sheeran, and in the past people like Damien Rice. O’Connell slots into this category nicely, and his work can be put right up there with these artists. He is set to do a worldwide tour in 2014, and I have no doubts that he will be gaining a lot of recognition and praise for his amalgamation of lyrical austerity yet placid vocals. All in all it makes Songs to Sleep On a beautifully disconcerting listen.

-Janise

Songs To Sleep On
View Track Listing
 

About Lucas O'Connell

Lucas O'Connell's debut album 'Songs to Sleep On' is the latest beauty to come out of the Surgery Studios in Wellington with the expertise of Dr. Lee Prebble. It is beautifully poetic, melodic, lush, and features some renowned international musicians. Already available for viewing online is the quirky music video the single 'Liquid Night'. The album release date is October 21, 2013.

The international musicians involved in the albums production include Nick Martyn, drummer extraordinaire for international songwriting contest winners Clairy Browne and the Bangin' Rackettes; Francesca Mountfort, award winning Cellist, a.k.a. Nervous Doll Dancing; extremely talented Danish Bassist Ida Dueland Hansen; beautiful vocalist Holly Beals from Family Cactus, plus Melburnian musical stalwarts (and mentors to Lucas) Phil Day, a.k.a. Whit Drawal on Horns and Hue Blanes on Piano, completing the impressive contributing line up.

The guitar became Lucas's instrument of choice as a traveller, and the early phase of his career was playing for the enjoyment of fellow travellers. It was whilst living in Essaouria, Morocco, that his debut album 'Songs to Sleep On' had its genesis, but the influences are also old European, Hispanic and Asian. The album is a refreshing new interpretation of poetry, melody and philosophy in a format that reflects his wide cultural experience, and is presented in a manner that is both entertaining and provocative. Lucas has a fingerpicking style reminiscent of Nick Drake, and his lyrics evoke early Leonard Cohen or the recently rediscovered Sixto Rodriguez.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Lucas O'Connell

Releases

Songs To Sleep On
Year: 2013
Type: Album

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