Folk music has been adopting a very surreal look in the last two years, and for better or worse, Safe as Houses’ new single “Lucky Lucky” is a prime example of the genre’s modern sound. “Lucky Lucky” is built around the dynamic relationship between its lead vocal and a graceful, guitar-oriented rhythm that is old school in structure but very new school in tonality. Safe as Houses have stuck with familiar framework in the past, but in this latest attempt at greatness, discharge a vicious groove wrapped in earnest melodies that owe as much to the traditional folk model as they do the boundless experimentations of contemporary alternative singer/songwriters and new wave roots rockers.
“Lucky Lucky” has a complicated arrangement that must have taken quite a while for the band to organize in the studio, but the execution just isn’t there for me. The guitars’ attack is watered down and kind of understated, and there’s similar remarks to be made about the bass work as well. All of the players sound too loose, too relaxed and inefficient with their performances for this composition to transpire well in the studio setting. Now, on stage, I could imagine “Lucky Lucky” coming into its own anthem-like persona without facing the same problems. The template that it presents to us is actually pretty flexible, and if the band had some more room to push it as far past the limits of alternative rock as possible, I think it could end up being a fan favorite of their live performances.
Oh the times they are a-changing in 2019, for artists and genres that are as diverse as the planet we live on, and while Safe as Houses aren’t totally hitting the mark in this new single, they’ve definitely got the right idea with its design. We’re living in a progressive era for pop music, and moreover, the underground performers who shape its identity from afar, and regardless of what you take away from “Lucky Lucky” (and the album that it was cut from), I don’t think that there’s much of a debate as to whether or not the band that created it is going to remain a hot watch through the rest of the year.