Premiere: Luke Sweeney – ‘Critique of Nature’ EP (LIVE)


We’re pleased to premiere a live performance from Luke Sweeney, playing his excellent new EP, Critique of Nature on a baby grand piano at Terra Gallery in San Francisco, CA. We covered the opening “Natural Force,” one of my favorite tracks so far this year, in March. The passionate piano rendition shows a more intimate rendition, the vocals and piano upfront, without the studio version’s moody synths. Following that, Sweeney impresses further with the suavely melodic “Tie Mao to Mined,” elegantly pulsing “California’s Melting,” and the engaging “Scowl,” which reminds me fondly of Plush.

Sweeney chats more about the EP and this live performance below:

“My favorite activity during a year of lockdown was to play the piano. I’m not a natural player, and I still can’t be trusted to read sheet music, but the challenge of working through songs on a less familiar instrument helped me cope with the greater struggles on the planet. There was nobody asking me to release something during this time, I was just clearing out my basement tapes and making room for new music to fill the air. Of course, almost nobody was rehearsing in a traditional band, so when the ‘Critique of Nature’ EP was set for release, I thought I would ask my friend about playing a mini-concert on his baby grand piano. It felt somewhat appropriate for the moment to be playing in a picturesque ballroom with absolutely nobody in attendance… just some construction happening outside.”

Stream the EP, and its live piano renditions, below:

“Natural Force” and other memorable tracks from this month can also be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of March 2021’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Electro-Pop.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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