Other Towns Than Ours

Last Leaves

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Other Towns Than Ours Review

by Tim Sendra

When the Lucksmiths folded in 2009, fans of their brand of heartfelt, subtly beautiful indie pop no doubt shed many a tear. Some tears for the joy the band's music brought them over the years, some in anticipation of there being no new music in the future. Well, weep no more, because three of the Lucksmiths decided to get back together and make more music as Last Leaves, and their debut album, Other Towns Than Ours, is just as lovely as the Lucksmiths' finest work. Songwriter and singer Marty Donald never stopped writing songs and when he had a decent batch built up, he called up bassist Mark Monnone and guitarist Louis Richter to see if they were game to give the music biz another whirl. With the addition of drummer Noah Symons, the band began working up a sound that had the warmth and tenderness of the Lucksmiths, but which added some muscle to the guitars. Richter and Donald whip up some serious noise throughout the album, either on furious guitar solos or the occasional chugging riff. It's a shock to the system at first, hearing Donald's familiar voice and his usual lovelorn words, then having them blasted out of the room by some loud guitars. The opening tune, "Love and the World Well Lost," is a perfect example of this and sets the scene very nicely for the rest of the album. Fans of the Lucksmiths' gentler side may feel that the guitars are too much, but those who don't mind their pop a little on the scrappy side might find that they add some welcome punch to the typically winsome melodies and melancholy feelings. These adventurous fans will find, too, that Donald has written a strong batch of songs, like the rollicking "Other Rivers" and "Third Thoughts," that conjure up the outskirts of the city where they were written, sweet ballads that rely on quiet arrangements and Donald's unadorned vocals ("The Last of the Light," "Where I Lived and What I Lived For") and few that legitimately rock in a way the Lucksmiths never did ("The World We Had," "Something Falls"). Last Leaves are a near-perfect sequel to the Lucksmiths -- keeping all the things that made them so special and adding some new wrinkles -- and Other Towns Than Ours is a wonderful introduction to their new direction.

blue highlight denotes track pick