Luke Steele’s debut solo album Listen To The Water is a work of pointed words cloaked in a richly swirling atmosphere, capturing a blend of innocence and wisdom.
While it’s rare for an artist with more than 20 years in the industry to break new ground, Listen To The Water is Steele's first solo musical release after garnering critical acclaim with The Sleepy Jackson and conquering the world with multi-platinum selling act Empire Of The Sun.
Listen To The Water began in the gathering storm of late 2019. Empire Of The Sun’s fourth album was on hold, a global pandemic was on the horizon and LA was conspiring to set Luke and his family adrift on a new adventure.
Recorded in a secluded cabin on a private lake in Northern California, aptly named Eccentric Farm, a stiller version of life birthed a new chapter of music for Steele. In searching for a distinctive sonic palette, Steele was deliberate in his approach. "I gave myself some limitations, a few guitar pedals, don't add too many effects. It was basically acoustic guitars, a Japanese synth, and two legends: 72-year-old pedal steel veteran, Dan Dugmore from Nashville, and world-renowned LA percussionist, Brian Kilgore.”
Listen To The Water is a record of psychedelic provenance that finds Steele pulling disparate strains of searching, astrally amplified music - from Syd Barrett’s hermetic folk experiments to the technicolor rush of the Flaming Lips at their most open-armed - into an adventurous, philosophically cogent whole. Listen To The Water is Steele’s journey to himself, a chance to be naked, fearless, and on his own.
“The crown is off, the make-up is off and this is where we find out what is left,” says Steele. “Sometimes the only way to let something go is through a song. In a way this record has been a bit of a ‘Luke Steele unboxing’, so to speak.”