Luke Elliot is a unique proposition. He’s gained a level of what nowadays in the music industry is referred to as ‘hype’, yet in actual fact his work ethic, as well as the artistic development he has embarked upon, harks back to the great songwriters of old – the stalwarts of the form who delicately honed their craft: the Leonard Cohen’s, the Bob Dylan’s and Tom Waits’. Luke Elliot, like these artists before him, has tales to tell, and the ability to tell them.
We asked Luke about the making of Trouble and he told us this:
“This video was a pleasure to make. the concept was for me to be a bit hungover (you know, the whole in and out of trouble bit), which wasn’t very difficult – we had a very late night before shooting…
We had the pleasure of working with Jørn Veberg, one of Norway’s best directors, who created the story line and I immediately fell in love with the idea. I think it encapsulates the life of the song”.
Having started learning the piano at the age of eight, and writing his own songs by the age of thirteen, Luke developed a style that can only be described as timeless. After the release of two tastemaker EPs in his native New York, and an introduction to Rihanna’s original manager, Christa Shaub, head’s began to turn.
Under the tutelage of Shaub, long days and even longer nights led to a chance meeting in New York with one of Norway’s most prominent journalists for the leading Norwegian newspaper, VG. It was this moment that led to a temporary move to Oslo where he sought to further his evolution as an artist. And evolve he did, quickly signing to Norwegian tastemaker label, Indie Recordings.
But to understand the story, we need to start on the stage. At face value, for someone so slickly dressed, there’s an unhinged nature to Elliot’s live performances. He possesses an imposing live presence – the magic in a bottle that so many artists can’t tap into, the feeling that at any moment the set could descend into chaos. It’s the unexpected nature of his spirit which is in his DNA.
Over time, Luke’s reputation grew as an unmissable live act, but it would take someone of immense gravitas to cultivate this into a recording. John Agnello was just the man to capture this, and flew over from New York to Norway to work with Luke, having built his own reputation working with the likes of Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile and The War On Drugs.
“The first time I heard Luke’s voice; I knew he was super talented. Then when I saw him play piano and sing, I saw that he was a force of nature. And watching him grow as an artist has been remarkable” said Agnello.
The result of their work together is a record of eleven songs that demonstrate Elliot’s precociousness as a songwriter – a record that’s shows equal parts an aggression and restraint. Be it the softer ballads such as ‘Let It Rain On Me’, or the forceful lead single ‘Trouble’, with it’s desperate vocals and dark 60s, Lynchian guitars.
Dressed For The Occasion has achieved great success with it’s release in Norway, breaking into the Top 10 I-Tunes Album Chart, and also led to Luke performing on the country’s two most popular TV shows, Lindmo and Good Morning Norway, as well as being named one of the world’s five best new artists of 2015 by Tidal. The album also featured highly in all of the end of year lists, including a placing at number one in Dagbladet, Norway’s second largest daily newspaper.
The album is now due for it’s European release on 3rd June 2016.