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Why That Doesn't Surprise Me

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Album Review

At this point, the Lucksmiths seem fated to a lifetime of comparisons to Belle & Sebastian — granted, both bands share a common sensibility distinguished by the same cynical lyricism, gorgeously immediate melodies, and gilded harmonies, but with the stunning Why That Doesn't Surprise Me, the Lucksmiths have plainly staked out their own territory as well. Marty Donald is as good as any songwriter going — the opening "Music to Hold Hands To" and the sun-kissed "Broken Bones" in particular are as memorable as any pop songs you're likely to hear this year or any other, buoyed by lilting acoustic guitars and wordplay that recalls vintage Morrissey in both its savage wit and poetic grace. Indeed, for all the classicist elements of the Lucksmiths' aesthetic — ringing, Byrds-like melodies, "sha-la-la" vocals, elegant string arrangements, and the like — Why That Doesn't Surprise Me also boasts a uniquely postmodern edge that turns pop conventions on their ear.


Formed: Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Australian indie pop trio the Lucksmiths teamed singer/percussionist Tali White, guitarist Marty Donald, and bassist Mark Monnone, longtime school friends who initially bonded over their mutual admiration for the Smiths. After going their separate ways to attend university and travel, the threesome reconvened in their native Melbourne in early 1993, playing their debut gig that April opening for the Sugargliders. The Lucksmiths' debut tape was soon released, and in 1994 the group resurfaced with...
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Why That Doesn't Surprise Me, The Lucksmiths
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