Finally out on all digital platforms here is Luke’s latest album, an ode to brilliant songwriting and musicianship all wound up in family stories.
Luke says -
“I genuinely believe that Whale Beach Road is the best album of “adult music” I’ve made, and it’s very special to me because of all the family history written into the songs.
Whale Beach Road is the first full studio album I’ve made solely under my own name. I started writing the songs in early 2020, towards the end of the fires and before the first lockdown. Initially, I was working on a memoir but then the stories started turning into songs instead.
At first, I was hesitant to apply for Jobkeeper in 2020, as I felt like other people needed it more than me, but then I realised it would give me the funds to go and employ all of the amazing musicians on this album, like drummer Evan Mannell, bassist Zoe Hauptmann, Aaron Flower on guitar and Clayton Doley on Hammond organ. There was even enough to get string and backing vocal arrangements for most of the songs, which gives it that luxurious 70’s soul vibe I was after while still sounding modern and clean. I could have been a hermit and lived off beans and rice, but instead Jobkeeper enabled me to keep creating and collaborating with my community.
Whale Beach Road is a very personal album, but I think there’s also something very universal there in that the songs are all about searching for love and hope in an uncertain world. It was all written and tracked between the Northern Beaches of Sydney and the Central Coast, and I think those beautiful locations feed into the sound. Hopefully the album takes listeners to a good place.”
Family – On Feature Track ‘Max and Melanie’
“While I was writing Max and Melanie I had the idea that it would make a good 70th birthday present for my Mum, a way of paying tribute to her family and where she came from. I’d never actually realised it before, but she was a political refugee, an asylum seeker in her own country. I carried on her story in another song on the album – “Lady Sunlight” – and then started to think about my own story, and all the events and circumstances that had led me to the exact place I found myself at the time of writing these songs: a house on Whale Beach Road. That’s how the album found its narrative, and its title. It’s about people trying to hold on to love and hope while confronting the powerful tide of history. To paraphrase the chorus of Max and Melanie, history makes plans for us, but we can still make plans for ourselves. I find that idea very hopeful.”
“Luke Escombe is a rock-soul singer, raconteur, blistering blues guitarist, comedian and songwriter, and very good at them all” – Sydney Morning Herald
Luke Escombe is an ARIA-nominated singer-songwriter who combines his blues, rock and soul influences with subversive humour, poetic lyrics and heartfelt storytelling. He is the creator of the internationally acclaimed one-man show “Chronic” and the writer and front man of multi award-winning Aussie kids band The Vegetable Plot.
Luke has released numerous albums and EPs with his band Luke Escombe and the Corporation and one album solely under his own name, 2017’s Skeleton Blues. The album was recorded direct to tape in a three-hour session at Damien Gerard Studios, featuring his smoky-voiced cover of Bob Dylan’s “Man in the Long Black Coat” alongside distinctive originals like Punctuation Blues and The Lipsi. This new Luke Escombe studio album, Whale Beach Road, was recorded in between lockdowns with some of Sydney’s most in-demand session players.
Luke received his early musical education in London, where his father’s job in the rock and roll industry enabled him to see hundreds of legendary performances by artists like Freddie Mercury, Prince and Bruce Springsteen while he was just a boy. When he’s not channelling his childhood idols, Luke is an ambassador for a number of health charities, a member of the NSW Arts Advisory Panel, a teaching artist with the Sydney Opera House’s Creative Leadership in Learning Program. He is also a song writing mentor with the Sydney Children’s Hospital’s Chronic Illness Peer Support program [ChIPS] with whom he wrote and recorded the track “Wake up Call” in 2021. He believes strongly that music and storytelling can play a transformative role in health, education and society. Among his more obscure awards is the title of “Sydney’s Sexiest man voice”, which he won in a competition on a once-popular Sydney radio station.
Luke Escombe – Whale Beach Road (Foghorn/MGM) August 19
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