If there’s any place that realizes the value of the tragically unheralded musician, it’s here on naturalismo. There was a time in music when not everybody could share their idiosyncratic music with the world, when some of the best musicians were relegated to the shadows because their songs weren’t hummable enough, weren’t marketable enough, weren’t user-friendly enough. Sometimes they were just too strange. There were just as many obscure troubadours in those days as there are today; only difference for the fiercely singular talents of yesteryear is that it took a little more effort and a little more legwork to actually get some songs laid down on vinyl. That is why an artist like Ted Lucas, who released a single, self-titled record in 1976, deserves to be lifted on someone’s shoulders and paraded down the main street of the interwebs and sprinkled with confetti and fanfare. This album is seriously good. I don’t often speak this bluntly, but for someone like Ted Lucas I feel compelled to be as clear as possible. This is one of those rare records that achieves melancholy and hope at the same time, a record that more accurately captures the nature of our mercurial mind than something of pure saccharine or pure bile. His voice has an otherworldly quality; it sounds like it was laid down in a field of cotton. It is resonant and rich, but simultaneously smoky, numbed, and crestfallen. The melodies are almost always circular, as if they were designed to be sung in the round (and on one song, it is). The flow of the album is immaculate. It’s a record that you only listen to from beginning to end.
Many thanks to Yoga Records who tipped me off to this masterpiece. They will be re-releasing The Om Album on vinyl soon, so stay close!
[ stream ] Ted Lucas – It’s So Easy When You Know What You’re Doing
[ stream ] Ted Lucas – I’ll Find a Way to Carry It All