Montreal avant-pop outfit the Luyas are set to return with their first offering in four years. Before their Says You EP hits shelves next week, though, Exclaim! is giving you an exclusive listen to the record in its entirety.
The EP features five new songs, including the previously shared "Engineers" and title track. The final package is rounded out by sprightly odes to unpunctuality ("Bucky's (2 Hours) Late") and bigger existential topics ("God Is Pink," "If It Exists"). The songs hear the band sounding more raw and vulnerable than we're used to — and that's the point. In a statement, they explain that the latest effort intends to show the band in their natural creative habitat, even if that doesn't always equate to pristine perfection.
The band's full message reads:
We had spent months improvising aimlessly, and that was sort of the point. To get aimless for a while and just to play. And I mean play in the way that kids play. I was really turned off of professionalism in music - and pursuing a kind of ridiculous vendetta against it, because I knew full well that the band is made of professional musicians. I was just turned off, and feeling that everything had a ludicrous gilded machine sliced quality. Our solution was not to write songs at all, to set a trap for the band, so we could catch ourselves off-guard. Which is of course impossible, by the way.
The material for Says You as well as for the LP that we made at the same time is born of that contrivance. And I think that is what is beautiful about it, the absurdism. It's a weird time in history, or maybe all times in history are weird and I've just been listening to Democracy Now more than I used to. We wanted to capture the way we really play, all while talking about the inertia of existence. Like fuck! Why can't I change things? How do I be better than I am? Is it even possible to solve the world? Through music? HA!! I know we are not Bob Marley. And so often we end up just trowing up our hands, and taking pleasure in our petty powerlessness, or picketing, and still feeling the ground hard and still under our feet.
As a result the songs are full of little jokes and cheap shots. It's the first time we allowed ourselves to get lighthearted. It's intentionally kind of unbalanced. It's mostly improvised, and has almost no overdubs aside from vocals and a track here or there. So often recordings really don't resemble the way you play. They're all shined up, like a Christmas portrait from Sears. I think these recordings are a kind of accurate rendering, like bed head - it's not always as pretty as they say it will be in the magazines. Disparate and slightly cross-eyed. We've been in this band for 10 years and like a marriage or anything that lasts long it's swiss cheese and full of holes and delicious in between, and excellent on toast.
It's nevertheless still a sweet, satisfying set of dreamy pop songs, and you can give it a listen below. And while it sounds like there's a full-length on the way in the future, Says You is officially out on September 16 through Paper Bag Records. Scroll past the Luyas' upcoming tour dates to give it a listen.
09/09 Burlington, VT - Arts Riot
09/14 Hamilton, ON - The Casbah *
09/15 Guelph, ON - Ebar *
09/16 Toronto, ON - Double Double Land *
09/22 Chicago, IL - Schubas ^
09/23 Chicago, IL - Schubas ^
09/24 Montréal, QC - Pop Montreal at Divan Orange
09/28 Kingston, ON - the Artel
09/29 New York, NY - Cake Shop
09/30 Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool
10/01 Portland ME, - Waking Windows
10/06 Peterborough, ON - The Spill
10/07 Gatineau, QC - Le Temporaire
12/08 Montréal, QC - Bar le Ritz PDB
12/16 Québec, QC – Pantoum
* with the Magic
^ with Califone