Luluc – ‘Dear Hamlyn’

August 21, 2008 § Leave a comment

Published: The Big Issue, # 310, August 2008.

Dear Hamlyn
Luluc
****

Zoë Randell is rarity in an increasingly crowded indie music coterie. Her voice is of such simple and inimitable qualities – such rich timbre and hue and evocative depth – that it renders notions of era and place all but frivolous.

Best known as Paddy Mann’s vocal foil in Melbourne ensemble Grand Salvo, Randell steps to centre stage on Dear Hamlyn, she and instrumentalist Steve Hassett’s debut oeuvre as Luluc.

The results are delicately breathtaking. Over 11 austere sketches, Randell weaves a narrative of memory and departure and love lost – Hassett’s understated, wood-toned acoustic arrangements deftly entwining her time-faded, heart-rending imagery. There are several highlights. The angelic vocal and stunning guitar and double bass melody of ‘I Found You’ and the lilting downcast of ‘The Blue Queen of the Deep’ make for wonderful moments, while the glimmering minor key verse of ‘The Wealthiest Queen’ is one of the most untainted and beauteous you’ll ever hear.

Randell may not possess the song writing nous or adroit eloquence of her Grand Salvo collaborator, but she more than makes up for it with sheer candour and tone. As Luluc, she and Hassett have crafted a startlingly pure, subtly transcendent debut.

Dan Rule

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