Vocalist and guitarist Ivy Rossiter began Luckless in 2010 as a solo project with a continuously evolving line up of musicians, releasing an eponymous debut album in 2012. This second offering finds Rossiter teaming with drummer Logan Compain. ‘Vindication Blues’ was recorded at Lyttelton’s Sitting Room studio with engineer and co-producer Ben Edwards, and is a collection of alt-rock, ballads, and slow-burning atmospheric songs.
Luckless have an interesting sound, like a mix of Mazzy Star, Sparklehorse and (occasionally) Portishead, Rossiter’s smoky, bluesy vocals paint the songs with emotion, whether howling her lyrics or delicately accompanying the music.
Her haunted, torch-song vocals are a huge drawcard making Hard As I Try, and the loping Better Than Being Blue sound hesitant and delicate, while punchy alt-rocker When You Asked Her To Stay becomes more intimate.
However, the intensity doesn’t quite work on Dry Eyes, which sounds overwrought, providing (for me) the album’s only weak point. There is a passion and involvement here that is often missing from recordings – Rossiter is deeply committed to her muse, and there is no ironic sense of detachment, which is refreshing.