I’ve always had a weird leaning towards depressed-sounding lonely traveler types. I guess it’s the “romantic” in me. Anyway, when I was reviewing Luke Roberts’ new CD, The Iron Gates at Throop and Newport (Thrill Jockey) for Acoustic Guitar, I kind of fell in love with the guy. Maybe it was because it was snowing outside and I missed California a little bit, but after not gravitating to his music initially, I found myself listening to it over and over. His voice definitely captures something really classic and fiercely emotional. His first CD, Big Bells and Dime Songs (which you can listen to on Spotify), is great too. I found this Pitchfork review of that album, which sums up everything else I’ve thought but couldn’t quite articulate. The writers over there have a serious mastery of description that always makes me jealous.
According to Thrill Jockey, Luke has this to say about the new record: “The first record I made has a very homeless or wild-west feel to it and this new one is filled with addresses and luxuries. It’s a rags to riches story about family and love and faith, where the first one was about not having that stuff. This album is about how hard that stuff is.”
It all seems pretty sparse to me, which makes it feel all the more real.