Writing back in 2016, we described the music of Luke De-Sciscio as “suitably intimate folk […] where every imperfection only reinforces the sense of authenticity, drawing on the likes of JBM and adding warmth and nostalgic poetry.” The summation works for De-Sciscio’s latest album too. Good Bye Folk Boy is crafted from honesty and immediacy, the simplicity of the acoustic instrumentation belying the intricate flow of lyrics. Still, there is an intuitive sense of the vocals, emerging with an unbroken cadence, allowing the album to sound like a stream-of-consciousness emerging from a dark, empty room—a late-night vigil for hopes and regrets, lit by candlelight and the silver-shine of the moon.
The lonely vulnerability is clear on opener ‘Winsome’, its intense rhythm sounding like a confession to midnight itself, and though the tempo is more meandering on ‘Plumb Loco’, the melancholy remains. ‘R.O.B.Y.N.’ is somewhat brighter, hope leavening the guitar’s strum and allowing a sense of renewal to emerge in De-Sciscio’s distinctively wordy delivery.
Never neglect the marrow of your head in the clouds
in favour of your desire to stop being unstoppable
I melted with stream and fought with the current
asking to turn on a tuppence
in favour of clean I could not hold down
if not for expending my woman
Tracks like ‘Told You’ possess the lush sadness of Jeff Buckley, the lo-fi recordings haunted by the empty spaces of the room in which they were written, while ‘I May Never Fall In Love With Everyone’ creates the kind of paradoxical balance between bashful and confident that Keaton Henson made his own. ‘Small Flames’ is warmed by a nostalgic fondness and ‘Two Way Doors’ is playful despite its haunting tone, something that Luke De-Sciscio uses to his advantage to avoid becoming overwrought.
Indeed, a certain awareness and self-deprecation is threaded through the record, something that’s a little cleverer than the tortured doubt that is so often present in the genre. The existential meditations are interspersed with clever turns of phrase, from TV to vomit-inducing loop-the-loops and even the album’s title itself, earning Luke De-Sciscio his more morose moments without everything smudging into self-pity. As such, tracks like ‘I’m A Dream Fighting Out Of A Man’ hit harder, the listener more attentive to the nuances within the sound:
I’m walking on a mirror
I’m biting my hand
I’ve swum in your spit
and pawed at your plans
I’m listing still in flow divided
my Captain will that this is what time is
Good Bye Folk Boy is being released in sections via the Luke De-Sciscio Bandcamp page.