Luke Hansen captures the repetitiveness of everyday life, shares his love for playing gigs with friends, his gratitude towards his creative clan and the process of his debut album.
Luke Hansen has embraced the local music scene over the last few years with his multi-instrumentalist and singer-song writer attitude that he oozes with such hypnotic magic. He recently dropped Air Is Thin, the titled track for his debut album. The track is stuffed with poetic introspective fragments and intertwined with smooth sounds and amplified instrumental experimentation.
Luke Hansen had a moment with us to express how he captured the repetitiveness of everyday life in the song through an eerie tone melted with a strong climax to break out of the day-to-day bore. He also shares his love for playing gigs with his friends, being surrounded by a creative clan and his favourite instrument- the piano. Read ahead and get to know his musical process and where he’d love to move to if he could right now.
HAPPY: Thanks so much for chatting with us! What are you up to today?
LUKE HANSEN: Hey, no worries at all. Glad you asked actually, I just bought an Ibanez Tube Screamer guitar pedal! So, it’s been a pretty good day.
HAPPY: Congrats on your latest single, Air is Thin, from your forthcoming album. Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind it, and what message you want to express to your listeners?
LUKE HANSEN: Well, it’s quite a dark song about the repetitiveness of everyday life. The chord progression at the beginning and vocals expresses an eerie tone, and that’s how I wanted the track to start, and eventually, it builds into a big chorus, which is about taking a drastic change in your life and breaking out of that repetitive cycle.
HAPPY: What’s your songwriting and recording process like?
LUKE HANSEN: It’s not the same every time, but usually I start out on the guitar and then I build a few vocal lines with some chords that I like over it. With this song, in particular, it was interesting because I asked the band to have some songwriting input, and my drummer came up with the cool drum line that’s in the verse, and we came up with the outro as a band. The bridge section also has over 30 layered vocal lines, which took me hours to make.
HAPPY: Tell us about your suburb. What do you like/not like about where you live?
LUKE HANSEN: I’m located in the Northern Beaches, which is where I grew up when I was young and then moved back to a few years ago. It’s quite peaceful, but that can be good and bad – it can get a little boring at times. That’s why I’m planning on moving to the UK towards the end of next year.
HAPPY: Tell us about your creative community.
LUKE HANSEN: Well, I have a lot of friends that are in the music scene, and we all help each other. I play gigs with a lot of friends’ bands. I also have friends who organize warehouse shows/parties and have just started curating music for a Sunday night event called “Day About” at Kalyx. I’m lucky to be surrounded by creatives of all types who help out with all sorts of things like videography and photography.
HAPPY: You experiment with different instruments during your creative process. Do you have a favourite instrument that you gravitate towards? Or a new instrument you’d like to try that you haven’t played yet?
LUKE HANSEN: Well, I bought a synth recently and I would really love to start adding some synth lines to my pieces. I also listen to a lot of jazz and would love to add some jazz harmony to my songs too. I would have to say my favourite instrument is the piano.
HAPPY: What’ something someone has said about your music that you hold close to you?
LUKE HANSEN: Someone complimented the production quality of my latest single, which means a lot because we put so much work into making it sound up to par.
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HAPPY: What TV shows are you enjoying at the moment?
LUKE HANSEN: I’ve been watching The Sopranos recently and it’s been taking up my entire nights.
HAPPY: Tell us a bit about what we can expect from your upcoming album, which is slated for release in May 2023. Which artists or bands would you say you drew musical influence from the most while working on the record?
LUKE HANSEN: It’s a very eclectic album, there are a lot of different influences. I haven’t recorded the last few tracks that will be on the B side of the album, but it’s gravitated towards a more RnB vibe, whereas the first half of the album is a more intense folk/rocky vibe. The main artists I draw inspiration from are probably Jeff Buckley, Tom Waits, and Elliot Smith, and some more modern artists are Steve Lacy and Connan Moccasin.
HAPPY: What do you have planned in the way of live shows these coming months?
LUKE HANSEN: I plan to play a few more shows in Sydney and Melbourne in January, and then I’m flying to the UK where I can hopefully get a few solo acoustic shows!
HAPPY: If you could be anywhere in the world right now playing a show, where would you want to be?
LUKE HANSEN: Definitely Osaka, Japan.
HAPPY: Thanks for the chat!
LUKE HANSEN: Thank you for your time, appreciate it!
Stream Air is Thin via Spotify below. Keep your eyes and ears peeled and ready for sneak peeks of the remaining LP, out in May 2023, via Luke’s socials.
Interviewed by Olivia Adams