We need to talk about Lukid. Perhaps you might wonder what’s happened to the loveable curly-haired scamp that brought us his slumped, sweetly sad debut Onandon in those bucolic, summery New Labour days of 2007. The line from that record to his most recent release on his GLUM label seems to trace the sinking of a mind deeper and deeper into freezing waters. The Tony Blair beats have now vanished. This is Cameron’s Britain.
But while on the surface things might seem increasingly icy, his forthcoming album (titled Lonely At The Top) is really the story of a young man coming to terms with himself and his own idiosyncrasies and contradictions. Lukid has stopped trying to explain things; there are no real genre signposts here, and no trying to fit in with anyone else’s expectations.
On Lonely At The Top we hear Lukid pooling together elements from his varied back-catalogue to create something that manages to sound like nothing he’s done before. We get glimpses of the raw anger displayed on his GLUM releases, of the ecstatic and psychedelic pop he makes with Simon Lord as Arclight, of his recent brooding score for the documentary “Personal Best”, and of his sunnier early releases on Werk, but it’s all assembled with a new voice and a new intent. Whatever has happened in Lukid’s life over the last few years, with the carefully constructed narrative arc of Lonely At The Top he gives the impression of a story of catharsis and redemption.
Lukid does this with such singularity, only increasing with each release, that you wonder why he isn’t officially a national treasure yet. If you see him sitting on a wall, his little face turned towards the sun, swinging his legs and humming to himself, stop and give him a thumbs up. It’s lonely at the top.