Walker Lukens: “Brunch People”

This week, Song of the Day will be counting down some of our favorite overlooked Studio 1A live sessions from 2013.

Walker Lukens lost his job, and decided to take a musical sojourn. The trip took Lukens to Europe, all over America (four countries and 25 states by his estimation), and eventually, he ended up here in Austin. The singer and songwriter received plaudits from NPR’s All Songs Considered, American Songwriter, The Austin American Statesman, The Austin Chronicle, and a whole bunch more, including–ahem–us.

Lukens displayed a rootsy bent with his 2010 record Duty. But he did something altogether different for 2012’s Year of the Dog EP, an exploration of beats and vocal loops with minimal arrangements and heavy doses of blues and R&B. Last April, Lukens issued his latest long-player Devoted. The album finds him flexing his pop chops, and fleshing out some of the sonic ideas he had with Year of the Dog. There’s a cheekiness to titles like “Kindle to Your Fire (Oprah Voice)” or “The Night I Was Kissed By Patti Smith” (for more information, see his 2011 homemade, mini record Are We Gonna Folk or Duet?). One of my favorite titles is “Brunch People,” mostly for the imagery (tired looking folks in sunglasses sipping mimosas and micheladas and eating eggs benedict) that it conjures. But like the aforementioned tunes, behind the clever name there’s a really great song. The piano pounds out a slow, staccato rhythm, like someone trudging up a hill, while Lukens’ expressive voice floats above. Lukens and his band performed “Brunch People,” along with two other tracks from Devotedin our own Studio 1A last April. You may have missed it earlier this year, but don’t let the song (especially the atmospheric instrumental jam at the end) pass you by.

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