Released the first week of September 2015, August John Lutz II’s first solo work, O’ My Foolish Heart, hones in on the feeling of being permanently placed against the current.  Drifting through stories of shattering circumstance and serial wreckage, the Levee Drivers frontman colors each detail with a stinging sense of alienation, shrewdly portraying the isolating effects of disconnection while often levying the blame explicitly on himself.  Although far from searching for penance, the five-song collection finds Lutz maintaining a heavy sense of rumination, alternating between the delicate and fractured emotions that lie at the heart of our memories.  Forsaking the raucousness of his work with the Levee Drivers, tracks like “Miles On End,” and “So Long My Luck” each has a way of stripping everything down to the bone.  Meditative and lonesome, O’ My Foolish Heart stands as a soulful exploration of past events, willfully capturing its creator flipping through a photo album as the world quietly peeks over his shoulder.

Slipping between catharsis and acceptance, EP opener “My Foolish Heart,” finds Lutz uncovering the numbness that trails the type of discord for which there is no resolution.  Describing a connection that dissolves like an apparition, he raises his voice to protest, “You’re gonna miss me, I swear,” posing his words as part question, part wish, part declaration.  Above all, it’s his very last chance before everything ruptures.  Capturing the feel of the entire collection, “My Foolish Heart” finds our narrator recalling a time and a place that there’s no returning to, no matter how vividly he feels it’s aftermath.  Although that’s not to say that O’ My Foolish Heart is a joyless, calloused enterprise. Shifting tone completely, “All Dolled Up In Red” unmasks a vulnerable, dreamlike quality that insists that the blue skies Lutz sings about can’t be dimmed if that same enchanting connection were to one day survive intact.

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Playfully lamenting a string of failed relationships, “Another Girl Gone” drips with light humor, gradually revealing an underlying sweetness through an increasingly earnest vocal.  Waltzing through a lyrical vignette where agitation and annoyance clash with endearment, Lutz convincingly depicts a series of moments where one always seems to overtake the other.  Evoking a different atmosphere altogether, “Miles On End” replaces any trace of warmth with a gripping sense of finality and the potent threat of a swift unravel.  With a grittiness that borders on derangement, the musician creates a feeling of being pushed to your absolute limit, all over an acoustic guitar that is concentrated and eerie.  Closing out the EP with “So Long My Luck,” he begins by singing quietly over a gentle chord progression, his hoarse delivery initially sketching a despondent, anxious tone.  Although each time he sings, “Baby won’t you come back home” it’s with a softness and polish that glows, underlining his strengths as a compelling vocalist and songwriter.  And by thoughtfully cycling through pieces of time, Lutz instills O’ My Foolish Heart with a genuine sense of reverie, lingering on the pivotal moments that leave their mark.


Article: Caitlin Phillips


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