Listening to Lucas Van Lenten’s Low Spokes the the first time, I felt as though I had heard it before — not in a blase sense, but in a warmly familiar one. And unlike other, more obviously throwback bands such as Foxygen, Lucas Van Lenten’s nods are present in the form of a ghostly undercurrent that never fully makes itself known.
Low Spokes touches down in so many different musical eras that, after a couple songs, I stopped trying to place it, and just let myself be engrossed in the sound as a whole. The songs sound as if they want to be dusty and classic, but Van Lenten turns them in his hands and repurposes them for modern times. Each track is intricately arranged and layered, featuring a slew of different instruments. The varied instrumentation no doubt comes from the many bands that played on the record — the Bandcamp page lists eight bands/musicians that were involved in helping out.
The lyrics are mysteriously symbolic and romantic. My favorite lines are from the first song, “San Sebastian” — “And on the beach, I’ll stand my bloody ground for you,” Van Lenten pledges, “and watch the waves come closer to my feet, come closer…”.
I know for a fact that Low Spokes is a record I’ll come back to until I know all the words, and so I highly recommend you take a listen. There’s an irresistible draw from inside these rock songs that makes it easy to love. Some albums just feel like home, and this is one of them for me.