Psych Wonder


Monterey County Weekly

A few days before Luke Sweeney flew out to New York to cut his new record, he went into full-blown panic mode.
“As I was going through the songs in my head, I didn’t think there were any quality songs,” Sweeney explains on his way to play a string of shows in Oregon.
He frantically started writing and demoing new songs, hoping he’d stumble onto a good hook of any kind.
Fortunately Sweeney’s Hail Mary and panic were both off base. Once he settled into a Williamsburg, Brooklyn studio, the songs he had originally felt lacked pop appeal started to come to life.
Sweeney recorded Adventure:Us, his first full-length studio album, in 10 days. The 12-track collection is a psych-pop/folk-rock artifact that encompasses the spirit of the perpetually amorphous San Francisco sound. Sweeney’s voice feels reminiscent of fellow SF rocker Christopher Owens, formerly of Girls.
While “Miss Me?” showcases Sweeney’s affinity for vintage AM radio pop, the breezy flowers-in-your-hair folk vibe circling “Doin’ It To You,” gets a lift from playful Caribbean-inspired rhythms.
By the time Sweeney left the studio, any anxiety was replaced by accomplishment.
“I still had ringing in my ears,” he says. “The songs were stuck in my head, and I was enjoying listening to them.”
Now Sweeney’s touring, both solo and with his full band. He plays solo Thursday at Barmel and Friday at The Shadow Box, and will be joined by his full band Saturday at Fernwood. His solo shows are all over the place. He plays tunes that predate Adventure:Us as well as new songs like “Time on Your Own,” which Sweeney describes as “folk-friendly, early Kinks.”