Review by Emily Smith
Dealing with themes of heartache and relationships, all enveloped in a shower of rich guitar work, the latest EP from singer-songwriter Luke Wilmoth We’re the Lucky Ones After All is a sincere and likable project.
One of the EP’s strengths lies within the virtuosity of the guitar work. Many songs on here immediately take hold of the listener by enticing them with incredibly lush and melodic guitars in the beginning. The song “San Pellegrino,” for instance, begins with a melodic riff that sounds fairly cheerful. The sound of this riff contrasts with the unhappy meaning of the song: learning not to trust someone and looking back at the past and realizing that the person wasn’t trustworthy from the start. The lyrics from the chorus illustrate this perfectly: “I trust you with everything/ But now I’ve learned my lesson/ I no longer do/ But once I believed in you.” This is definitely not the happiest of songs, so to begin with an upbeat riff adds an interesting layer to the song overall. “Slow Dance’ also starts off with some lush strumming of the guitar that has a chill sound to it. The guitars here drive the sound in general.
Some of the best guitar work comes from the song “Pinwheel” during a long instrumental break. There is a blend of driving guitars and a spirited, melodic solo that colors the track beautifully. “Pinwheel” is also one of the more positive songs on the EP. The lyrics read, “We found a sunny breeze can knock over a pinwheel/ It doesn’t take that much at all,” but within the song we see how he’s willing to start over and rebuild the relationship from the ground up.
Another strength of the EP is the sincerity in Wilmoth’s vocals and lyrics. The vocals cut through the very layered instrumentation brilliantly, such as on “Slow Dance.” Wilmoth during certain parts of songs pushes his range a bit more, like at the end of the track “San Pellegrino.” The lyrical content throughout the EP mainly expresses how demanding it is to be in a failing relationship or go through heartbreak. In “Slow Dance,” Wilmoth sings about trying to make it through a “slow dance in the dark,” or how he is trying to work through the relationship and being wholly unsure if he knows the person at this point. The writing on “San Pellegrino” is also a strength on the EP. The lyrics in the verses mirror each other in a clever way. The first verse reads, “In the heat of the moment/ I thought it was the right thing to do,” while in the second verse Wilmoth sings, “In the head of the struggle/ I thought it was a righteous fight.” Other notable lyrics in the song include “Drink tap water when you’re told it’s San Pellegrino,” which means that what you have is not as good as you’ve been led to believe it is.
The listener can tell how personal of an EP this is through certain lyrics. A song that really stands out with its lyrics is “I Took Your Picture Off the Wall.” Wilmoth sings “I’ve seen mothers as they leave their house unfaithful/ I’ve seen liars as they prove themselves ungrateful,” which are lyrics that sound very personal and are sung with an ache in his voice.
“I Took Your Picture Off the Wall” is in general a noteworthy track. Both the lyrics and the instrumentals are some of the best work on the EP. The track starts off with a layered sound, once again driven by the guitars, until it calms down during the verse. The verse gives the vocals a chance to stand out, as they are only accompanied by some piano chords and a drumbeat in the background. From the stripped-down sound, the guitars build to the chorus, where a cascade of instrumentals returns. This song overall does an excellent job transitioning between the stripped down moments and the intense moments. Another instance of this is at the beginning of the closing, all the instruments fade for a bit as Wilmoth sings, “I couldn’t handle second best,” before the instrumentation eventually builds up again. The song then closes with some piano chords, ending on a rather somber note.
This latest EP from Luke Wilmoth is overall a very sincere and well-composed project.
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