Sometimes you hear something that makes you stop. That sweeps over you with its emotion. Like you know those songs that used to be on Grey’s Anatomy when something went wrong, (cue held camera shots and arty cutaways), well even more emotional than that. Like, real. Well, Australian composer and musician Luke Howard did that to us at backseat mafia with his track The Ends. Beautifully serene strings drone, while this piano sound, warm and somehow oozing nostalgia, complete with pedal sounds (I love that…), almost holds your heartbeat in its grasp, and so I stood there, hardly daring to breathe. It laps around your ears, melodic but melancholy – resistance is futile, it’ll get to you in the end (in more ways than one).
It’s taken from his recent album Two Places, which came out in April and is available to buy here. Turns out there’s a whole album of this beautiful neo-classical/post rock instrumental music. We spoke to Luke (once we were able to pull ourselves together) to find out a little more.
I am Luke Howard
I am from Melbourne, Australia
I make music that sounds like Soundtracks without the words and pictures
When people ask me who or what my music sounds like, I say Max Richter, Nils Frahm, Arvo Pärt, with a touch of post-rock
My band and I bonded over Live I am joined by one or both of Daniel Farrugia and Leigh Fisher on drums, and one or both of Leonard Grigoryan and Ben Edgar on guitars. We have known each other for years (except for Leigh, with whom I’ve been playing for about a year or two). We bonded over many things but one record in particular that comes to mind is Daniel Lanois’ Belladonna. You can hear that influence, filtered through many years, on the tracks Holtsgata and Magnolia.
My new record is [album] Two Places – it’s a celebration (if a slightly melancholy one) of all the music I like – string chamber music, solo piano and the more post-rock band stuff.
I recorded it Recorded mostly in Melbourne in March of 2016, with strings recorded in London and a few other things done in Berlin and Knokke (Belgium).
The writing process for me is I wrote all the music, mostly over the Australian summer of 2014-15 (indeed the piece The Crossing of the Years is about this time). I big chunk was done at a very dear friend’s place in Lakes Entrance, which is in country Victoria.
I tried to make it sound like I tried to make it sound like myself! Of course, I’m not always successful in doing that…
You could say our live show is There are no strings in the live show (guitars notwithstanding), and we tend to extemporise a little on the tunes, so it’s a fair bit louder and more raucous than the record – with the occasional solo piano moment of solitude.
Look out for Braille Face, who are about to release their debut album on Spirit Level.
This year, I am going to try to Write some more music and do some more gigs!
Keep in touch with me at