making maps ft. joel braithwaite

I know Luke Carlino as a live solo performer who combines a sweet soulful voice with acoustic guitar and imaginative use of loop pedals to produce sparse but eloquent tunes. ‘Making Maps’ takes these ingredients and ups the ante.

Immediately bringing to mind Amnesiac era Radiohead and Think-tank by Blur (with an RnB croon instead of those band’s more British voices) this track weaves hypnotic melody over cleverly scattered drum samples and off-kilter loops.

It is dark and moody and beautifully realised. The lyrics do not let this record down – using metaphors of disorientation and dislocation to express the heartbreak of relationship breakdown. It is not all gloom, however. In the bridge Joe Braithwaite (soulful lead singer from Adelaide’s Lowrider) provides heartfelt encouragement, singing “You’re making your own way now, oh and you’ll never know, which way the pieces may fall, oh just try letting go.”

This is the kind of post-millennial popular music that I like – made with song-writing nous, drawing on the electronic sounds of RnB and mainstream radio pop but free of cliché. As a singer song-writer, in my opinion, Luke Carlino could stand alongside Chet Faker, Hermitude and Flume – making radio songs that are highly listenable.

Interestingly, Luke’s Facebook page banner is a stack of records (yes vinyl). It is not surprising that Radiohead feature strongly but there are other records that give some interesting context to Luke’s work; Kanye West, Toro Y Moi, and Bill Withers.

Also printed in Bside Magazine 23 July 2015