Describing the sources of inspiration for LUCAS_, Brooklyn-based Skeletons ringleader Matt Mehlan says, "_LUCAS is named after a small town in Kansas, where the Garden of Eden is. I started writing lyrics when we were driving through those huge states, thinking about these little places off the interstate. Sometimes just a house or two next to each other." The self-produced album captures this dynamic wonderfully, sounding as expansive as a continent while leaving room for the tiniest sonic detail. Building on their reputation for everything-but-the-kitchen-sink instrumentation, the band has noticeably expanded their sound to more organic, however unfamiliar, realms.The album's ambiguous narrative came to the songs naturally: the title became both a paradise of sorts ("the light at the end, the pot of gold, the emerald city") and the name of a boy, covered in flowing hair, pulled from his familiar surroundings to find those "freer nowhere places". Obscure but memorable lyrics ("They find a hole in your body to squeeze God in") unfurl into themes of identity, authenticity, false promises, immediate gratification, and even world happenings.Recorded in the band's studio (the Silent Barn) in the midst of their densest touring schedule, LUCAS reflects the experimentation of their live shows: greater contributions from guitarists Jason McMahon and Tony Lowe, the double drum barrage of Jon Leland and Mike Ames, low-end lockdown from Carson Garhart, plus NYC hornmen Peter Evans, Sam Kulik and Cyrus Pireh. This album—perplexing but highly rewarding—is a testament to Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities' ongoing musical evolution.
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