I Know Leopard vocalist Luke O'Loughlin talks us through the songs that are set to soundtrack his summer.
All words below by Luke O'Loughlin.
"This song transports me to an almost noir-like world. It's kind of dangerous and exotic and that trademark drawl of his really lulls you into a fuzzy stupor. His use of space is really entrancing with those dark ambient soundscapes which ever so delicately brush the sides of the repeated Rhodes piano phrase."
"Could there be a more fitting collaboration? This just puts a massive smile on my dial. It reminds me of how fun music can be which is often easy to forget when you're so critically deep in making your own. It just sounds like they're in a room throwing improvised lines at each other. I love how conversational it is. My favourite bit is where Kurt Vile talks about how he neglected to protect his hearing for so long but nowadays he 'Plugs em up'. I feel you 100% Kurt."
"We saw Stella at a really intimate show at The Golden Age in Sydney about a week ago and we were completely arrested from the first song. That husky, vibrato in her voice is just heartbreaking. She is an absolute pure talent and have no doubt she's going to be huge. The subject matter of this song is so vitally important and the message is delivered in a clear, visceral manner. She doesn't hide behind metaphors, just gives it straight which is deeply affecting and uniquely poetic."
"Smoky bliss. Testament to the less is more thing. The melodies are just so strong and nectary sweet that they carry the whole song with little more assistance than bass, drums and one very reverb soaked guitar."
"This is my favourite off the new album. Like all great TWOD songs it just soars and despite the multiple layers and soundscapes, everything has its perfect place. You really feel it when Adam Grunduciel sings. He is, in my opinion, one of the most expressive vocalists around right now. Further aided of course by lines such as 'I met a man with a broken back. He had a fear in his eyes that I could understand.' What an insight."
"As epic as it can get in 2 minutes and 44 seconds. Such a brilliant construction of a song and the sound palette is just so inventive. I read or heard somewhere that the main instrumentation of the song is a guitar played by tapping the strings with some cylindrical object much like col legno violin style. So cool and cathartic. Bursting with feels as all his stuff does."
"This new album was such a pleasant surprise. Musically and lyrically it seems to be come from a much more honest and redemptive place compared his previous releases. This is my favourite example of the more organic, soul-influenced cuts off the album. A guitar driven slow burner with the most beautiful, woozy synths and strings sparkling throughout."
"Really loving this duo of late. Their songs evoke in me those same ecstatic feels I get from a lot of Jamie xx's stuff. It possesses an inventiveness and emotive core that I'm not hearing a whole lot of in other music of this genre. Those drops into the choruses are subtle but oh so blissful and her voice just washes over you like the moment you feel the ibuprofen take hold of your headache."
"I'm very late to the party on this one but I am so happy to have finally discovered the absolute bliss of Natalie Mering. This tune is just songwriting at its purest. There's a quite a few sections when you think about it but it never feels convoluted. It flows so naturally and effortlessly. I'll die happy if I can one day produce something that's anywhere close to this kind of timeless."
"This song reminds me of why I love Ariel Pink so much. As whimsical and restless as his music can be, more often than not there's an emotional core that I never fail to connect to. There's an almost pathos-like quality to it similar to the kind of sadness that might hit you by surprise during a Charlie Chaplin film. As someone who battles with quite a bit social anxiety, the lyrics deeply resonate with me. The textures, as usual, are classic sounding and AM radio warm but the arrangement is fresh and adventurous. What a beauty."