Release Date: Mar 19, 2012
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk
Luke Roberts takes his time. From the very start of his second album, The Iron Gates at Throop and Newport, he lets his folk refrains reveal their simple, moving adornments at their own pace. Tracks like “Everytime” begin with his spoken vocals and acoustic guitar, building into a pair of fiddle solos that subtly take this minimal approach to another level without overpowering its austerity.
Luke Roberts' début album Big Bells & Dime Songs was a record that was minimalistic by necessity rather than by design; the sound of one fella and guitar train-hopping and freewheeling his across a vast American landscape. The notion of travelling America in search of your own self-discovery is a long-standing cliché and suc a familiar trope of so many songs, books and films that it's easy to align yourself with the themes and aesthetics of Americana by simply deploying a few aural signifiers; a pedal steel guitar here or a creaky old country voice there and you've got about half the readership of Uncut in your back pocket. Luke Roberts isn't afraid of playing to type, but this isn't strictly speaking a bad thing.
An album composed in Brooklyn typically doesn’t sound like the sleepy countryside in the South. That is unless said album is written on a Collings 0002H and recorded in the writer’s native Nashville after he does a quick stint living in Montana. Luke Roberts’s sophomore effort, The Iron Gates At Throop And Newport, entwines those influences with simple lyrics and intricate instrumentals via cameo appearances by Billy Contaraz on fiddle and mandolin and Emily Sunblad on vocals.