Luxembourg - Best Kept Secrets: Demos and Rarities 2001-2004

I first heard Luxembourg on the unsigned compilation album "Rip Off Your Labels" with their contribution "Let Us Have It" (included here). This track was so uninhibited, joyous and intelligent that it was only a matter of time before I became reacquainted with these cultured characters. The band are keen to point out that this isn't their debut album, but an odds and sods collection of demos over the past few years which have been lovingly compiled for the first time - a musical history of their experiences so far with wit, style and originality.

"We Are The Resistance" samples the song "Without Your Love" by an obscure 60s girl group called Charlotte And The Louchettes. Luxembourg's barrage of guitars and drums crash magnificently towards the distinctive vocals which are almost half spoken on occasion, not unlike comedian Jimmy Carr on this particular song. Add some synths and politics into the equation and you've got the kind of track that Zane Lowe would froth over on his Radio 1 show. "Search Continues, Hop Fades (Electro Version)" continues with that squelchy synth sound and the mannered vocal sits easily with a song best described as a bedsit Human League. It's ambitious structure and spoken word middle eight will annoy and delight in equal measures.

"Success Is Never Enough" is a happy marriage of electro (synths) and electric (guitar), not forgetting an unbelievably filthy bass line. The second producer who worked on this track was Darren Allison who moulded it into a finely tuned few minutes of utter bliss. The vocalist has an admirable range and can even reach the high notes not unlike a certain Jimmy "The Communards" Sommerville. "(I Need) A Little Bit More (Than You Can Give Me)" is a journey of realization and understanding. It is in essence a torch song which will bring a tear to the eye, a smile to the face (some of the lyrics would make even Morrissey proud) and lump to the throat. Touching, subtle, melodramatic and emotional without being sentimental.

Luxembourg are a curious old beast. It's as if they've been mentored by Jarvis Cocker, listened to Tindersticks and Belle and Sebastian and mutated into a very British male indie equivalent of the Scissor Sisters. This of course can only be a good thing. If I can misquote Lemar for a moment: If there's any justice in the world, Luxembourg will be huge in 2005!!!

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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