Music

Indie rocker, Luke Hansen, shares his eclectic artist influences

Luke Hansen is a Sydney multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, teeming with musical maturity and talent.

If you haven’t heard Lament, the newest single from Luke Hansen, treat yourself to its reflective poignancy and liberating outcome. Upon our first listen, we had our suspicions that the spacious indie-rocker had been listening to some of the greats, and we weren’t wrong!

Below, in Hansen’s words, these are the artists’ key artistic influences – have a gaze.

Luke Hansen

Hey Chocolate – Connan Mockasin

Originally for Lament, the style I was singing was more weighted and less spacious. That was until the loose but tailored uniform styling that Connan Mockasin adopts in Hey Chocolate inspired me to make the words more punctual and succinct, allowing air to fill the song to give it a sort of weightless feeling – as if you are floating to the sky bouncing to the rhythm.

Connan Mockasin has mastered this with his unpredictable instrumentation, from the high-pitched swelling organs to the strange build at the end. Thus I was inspired and gave it a shot.

Isn’t it a Pity – George Harrison

This song inspired one of the original guitar lines I wrote for Lament. It has a beautiful melody that sweeps over strange chord voicings. Furthermore, his vocal tone and cadence are things I really look up to.

 

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Revolution Blues – Neil Young

Revolution Blues is about a man’s descent into darkness and it eventually ends up weaving into a sordid tale with a reference to the Charles Manson Laurel Canyon Murders. The beauty of this song is how openly accessible the character is, even though he is descending into madness he never seems too far from the ballpark for any of us.

Sanity is a thin line and I have referenced this in some of my previous songs, but this song paints the perfect picture with real-life references and very tangible emotions of a man who has had enough but is still clinging on to his final dregs of humanity. The edge is tipping and the balance is always questionable – the song keeps you guessing in a state of engagement but also worry as to what the protagonist has or hasn’t done.

The influence I drew from Revolution Blues was to create a tale based on the emotional specters we all encounter in our daily lives. My story was far more elusive as a narrative, which allowed the dialogue to be broader and the phrasing more incomplete to allow inquiry and further intrigue.

 

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Riders on the Storm – The Doors

The sound of rain, thunder, and an eerie Rhodes piano snake its way through Riders of the Storm. Having recorded rain sounds in Ninh Binh, Vietnam back in 2018, I added it to Lament, with Riders of the Storm being the main inspiration. I also recorded the warm textured Rhodes piano in the breakdown of my song with Riders of the Storm in mind.

Dream Brother – Jeff Buckley

By far the biggest inspiration for me so far in my musical endeavours – his broad but honed-in style had an aura of limitless potential while being so finessed and polished.

In my opinion, it’s the perfect blend of raw energy and refined technique. The entire catalogue from Jeff Buckley never ceases to amaze me.

The song Dream Brother, really connected to me vocally, with his rhythmic placement and use of repetition and doubling. The inspiration from Dream Brother that I funnelled for Lament is the powerful and soft vocalisation that is a key technique of Buckley.

 

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Exit Music For A Film – Radiohead

Radiohead has been one of my biggest influences in music since my girlfriend showed me back in the day. The aptly named song Exit Music for a Film, begins with an almost hypnotic effect – the acoustic guitars strumming away as the elements build and the spectral vocals of Thom Yorke develop in tonality. There is an undeniable strength and an increasing emotional depth as the track builds into something unexpected.

In Lament I tried to convey a similar route by shifting the melody to create a significant change.

Listen to Luke Hansen’s influences below: