Luke Wyland came into prominence when he launched the art-pop band AU back in 2005. AU’s sound was intricate, featuring interesting experimentations within the pop form, and arriving with the energy of mainstream music. The records that Wyland released with AU displayed this constant thirst for restructuring the pop sound, be it through the introspective approach displayed in Verbs or the immediate and more straightforward element of Both Lights. Now he returns with his new project LWW, which is quite a different animal.
LWW sees Wyland take a very different approach to AU, configuring a record that is much more minimal in its methodology and stripped down when it comes to progression and instrumentation. The record is comprised of improvisations, which date back to the time of AU’s final release Both Lights. In that manner, it acts as an interesting counter-entity to Wyland’s vision for AU, something that drummer/composer John Niekrasz aids him in uncovering with LWW.
The minimalistic touch is apparent from the first moment of 3PE, as the opening track arrives amidst sparse notes and offers a prolonged meditation over the experimental folk landscapes. The radiant textures that Wyland chooses to explore grant a very bright quality to the music, verging towards a harsher characteristic that is somehow always kept under control. Alongside the minimal motifs, this texture becomes the trademark elements of the record and forge the core identity of the project.
With this minimal facade, LWW is able to awaken a deeply spiritual quality with their music, something that is apparent from the opening moments of “CTP” and is further enhanced when the vocal delivery is introduced. That same element is arisen in “PNO” through a more optimistic lens, which originates from the transcendental melodies coming from the piano. “PRC” on the other hand makes use of repetitive patterns to create a mesmerizing effect. To this end, the electronic percussion implemented in this work is able to offer a solid foundation. Its more detached sonic quality, and the subtle manner in which it is introduced both produce a very interesting contradiction. It lends the music a type of electronic soul, which becomes more prevalent in moments like “DTE”, as it produces a laid-back demeanor, allowing a robotic quality to spring forth, as the track is evolved through piercing synths. When it is also implemented alongside the more tribalistic motifs, as is the case with the opening track, it shows the ability of LWW to coalesce these different worlds into a solid form.
3PE is a subtle work, and one that sees Wyland and Niekrasz touch on many different ideas and notions. However, the core element is one of minimalism, which is enhanced by some of the very interesting ideas that the two composers have. Be it through tribal elements, folky parts, or some very intriguing jazz interpretations, as is the case with the final moments of “P&B”. It is an interesting first step, and it comes with the promise of further sonic investigation.