Since Johnny ‘Pictish Trail’ Lynch set up shop on for the Isle of Eigg, his Lost Map record label has become a home to the eclectic and sometimes exotic, covering musical ground far wider than indie folk tag that the Fence Collective (Lynch’s previous home) was often unfairly tagged with.
Glasgow musician Lucas Clasen perhaps epitomises the label – somewhat scuzzy, but not raggedly anti-folk or anything so luddite. Rather, across ‘Take Care‘’s dozen home-recorded tunes his style allows a set of strong melodies to shine through.
From opener ‘Fear It’, which could be a Sonic Youth tune stripped of its walls of noise, the album switches styles without deviating from an overall sound which is very ‘Sulka’.
‘Hollow Days’ almost whispered vocal makes for a dreamy follower to its energetic predecessor, and ‘She Cares’ takes everything that was right about Sarah Records – jangle pop without ever getting too twee.
‘Punctured’ makes a well-work quiet-loud dynamic sound fresh, ‘Sleep Cycle’ as its name suggests offers some quiet respite, and ‘You and I’, fairly understated, suddenly flits into ‘instant classic’ mode with the simplest shift in pitch.
It’s Clasen’s ear for melody which propels this album – that and his refusal – like his label – to be constrained by any preconceived musical boundaries, making for a record that sounds fresh on every repeated listen.