Lutalo has shared the first single “Little Chance” from their upcoming EP Once Now, Then Again and while it’s not for me, perhaps you’ll enjoy it. It’s not for me because the vocals aren’t distinguishable and the music is a bit alt-rock same old same old. There’s just nothing that draws me in. However, you might like it so check it out below.
Lutalo – the project of Vermont-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Lutalo Jones – announces their debut EP, Once Now, Then Again, out June 10th, and presents a visualizer for new single “Little Chance.” Once Now, Then Again is deliberately fluid, a fascinating mixture of folk, rock and soul, allowing Lutalo the framework to be loose and wide-ranging. “Little Chance” is glazed in sunlit production, with muted guitar melodies and atmospheric sampling showcasing the more expansive elements of Jones’ sound. Like much of Once Now, Then Again, “Little Chance” was recorded at a neighbor’s tiny house in the mountains of Vermont. “I played every instrument and part you hear on the project. We used a tiny closet to record vocals, but there wasn’t much isolation of sound. If you listen carefully there are crickets throughout the project that were insistent in being part of the tracks,” Lutalo explains. “We’re familiar with a lot of DIY recording situations and this one was no different.” Recorded and produced alongside Patrick Hintz, “Little Chance” follows the previously shared EP opener, “Call It In”, and maintains the soulful charm that has earned Jones praise from The FADER, Clash, The Line of Best Fit.
Of “Little Chance,” Lutalo says, “Broadly the concept speaks of how we as people treat each other and how some hold others almost hostage. But it’s mainly about a decaying relationship in which one person is very clearly wanting to get out of the relationship whilst the other still desperately clings onto the hope that saying ‘I love you’ is enough to convince their partner to stay with them.”
Introduced to playing music through the African drumming classes their parents took them to as a child, Lutalo was educated on the Black experience in America by their father’s love for hip-hop, jazz, and Bossanova – from MF Doom to A Tribe Called Quest. Lutalo grew up in Minnesota where life constantly took them back and forth across the Mississippi River, from their Minneapolis home to school in St. Paul, before they settled for a while in New York City. Today, Lutalo’s life is much different. They moved further East to live among the green peaks of Vermont, and took ownership of an area of land alongside family. With a shared intention of building a small community, their collective aim is to live life differently, and create something tangible that can be passed onto future generations. The to-and-fro energy of their early life is now replaced by something more steady, a desire to not get caught up in the intensity of the world.
It’s this overwhelming potency of modernity that ripples through Once Now, Then Again. Spanning both of Lutalo’s contrasting worlds, the songwriting began in the Twin Cities before being finished in the serene surroundings of Vermont, and both environments leave their mark on Lutalo’s rich and absorbing sound. “I tend to grapple with a lot of existential questioning, I wanted to capture what it feels like to be a twenty-something in this time period, reflecting on our relationship with technology, the Internet, relationships, world governments, housing…all while discovering what it means to be an adult and how our definition of what that looks like begins to shift. The vision I have for this project is not so much genre-based as it is sound-based, and that sound is just a reflection of me. I didn’t want any boundaries because I’m not trying to replicate anything that’s come before, I only want to be adding to music in some way.”
For now, Lutalo’s world consists of pastures and new beginnings, the search for brightness in spite of all the dark. Across Once Now, Then Again, the boldness of Lutalo’s visual rings clean and true. They might not have the answers, but they know the questions that need to be asked. They remain optimistic in attitude, steadfast in their belief that change can only happen when you believe in a better future.
A note on Lutalo’s pronouns: Lutalo identifies as non-binary, and they are neutral when it comes to pronouns. They are happy to be referred to as any one or a mixture of the pronouns they/them, she/her, and he/him.
Once Now, Then Again Tracklist
1. Call It In
2. Little Chance
3. A Round
5. Don’t Mind Me
6. For Now