With an uncommon knack for storytelling and conveying simple emotion, Halifax’s Chris Luedecke is the type of artist whose songs are so solid, they sound 100 years old. There’s nothing flashy about Proof of Love. With arrangements that often incorporate little more than Luedecke’s banjo and a small group of friends, the traditionals interspersed throughout his originals perfectly reflect his simple powers. While his debut, Hinterland, held the heart of a wanderer, it seems Old Man Luedecke’s met the girl of his dreams and happily settled down.
While they exist on opposite ends of the folk (anti-folk, or whatever) spectrum, Animal Collective’s odes to domestic bliss on Strawberry Jam sit comfortably alongside Luedecke’s tales of family breakfasts and household spats ending in laughter. It comes as little surprise that Luedecke’s vocal fan base includes the likes of Feist, Buck 65 (whose “Indestructible Sam” features Luedecke’s banjo skills) and Julie Doiron, who recently proclaimed Proof of Love as her favourite record of the year. Suffice to say, the guy’s a songwriter’s songwriter worth taking lessons from.
“All I want is to be a little part of the things that I love,” Luedecke sings on the album’s titular opener, seconds later adding, in full awe of the world around him, “It seems there’s lots of things that I can love.” How can anyone fault a guy for figuring out something as beautiful as that?
- Mark Hamilton