LIVE MUSIC - LUKE SWEENEY
Time & Location
About the Event
Dubbed “classic rock’s piercingly bright diamond in the rough” (BandsInTown News), poet, composer, and misty-eyed multi-instrumentalist Luke Sweeney branched out of previous Bay Area outfits in 2013 to release two critially acclaimed albums: the handcrafted solo debut Ether Ore (self-released) and full-studio breakout Adventure:Us (2014, Aerobic International), in which he expanded into “far-reaching pop, psychedelic, and classic-rock realms with humor and irreverence—both calling cards of Sweeney's songwriting” (Portland Mercury). In between tours, Sweeney was working on the songs that would make up the album Peace Meal from an apartment overlooking the Pacific Ocean as well as at Faraway Sound in Brooklyn, NY, with his friend and collaborative partner Robin MacMillan. The goal was to make this record quickly, before questions on the meaning of it all could reach him. Then, on a fateful night in April 2018, just as the final mixes for the album were being completed, an astrological grip intercepted Sweeney’s life when he awoke to find his infant daughter no longer breathing and the toughest of life’s questions falling all around him.
A “pillar of San Francisco's garage-psych community” (TheBayBridged), Luke Sweeney has been a working musician for over a decade, playing with a wide variety of cohorts such as Tim Cohen (Fresh & Onlys), Tyson Vogel (Two Gallants), and Healing Potpourri. His personal output has always sparked interest among the interesting - an artist’s artist, so to speak - as he “confounds aural expectations and puts the knock on reverence… with time-worn allusions to psychedelia, bubblegum, glam, and mellow Seventies balladry” (Austin Chronicle) and “a kaleidoscopic whoosh of psych-pop, indie-folk, lo-fi soul and futuristic blues” (Bend Bulletin). Now, while those muses are still very present in his approach, the arrival of Peace Meal feels like something of a rebirth. Perhaps the songs were the fruit of a communicative collaboration between this plane of existence and another; Sweeney says the lyrics to ‘Great Wide Ocean’, written on the studio floor long before his daughter Rishi was conceived, came to him as if sent from another realm. Meanwhile, breezy melodies and buoyant beats soundtrack what is musically Sweeney’s most pop-oriented album to date: "It is easy to hear why this album has a healing quality for Sweeney; Peace Meal digs deep and balances a strong introspective slant with melodies reaching out for listeners and inviting them into its musical world. It deserves consideration as his finest work yet… It reaffirms Sweeney’s position as one of the best writers and performers working in the indie scene today" (Too Much Love). Moving forward and getting back on the proverbial horse, Sweeney had these words to offer - ”When the wheel stops spinning and the gears fall apart, the consciousness of the artist comes alive and puts a beat back into our collective heart.”