Music / Premieres
Video Premiere:
The Lucksmiths - Camera-Shy
Words by Doug Wallen
Wednesday 11th December, 2019
To celebrate the first-ever vinyl release of 2003’s Naturaliste, Melbourne guitar-pop legends The Lucksmiths share a suitably nostalgic - yet reliably wistful - video for the opening track.
It’s been a decade since The Lucksmiths gracefully retired with a sold-out show at The Corner (as captured by Natalie Van Dungen’s concert film Unfamiliar Stars), but the band’s legacy can still be felt in a wide crop of Australian bands singing about the intertwined joy and melancholy of the everyday - from Courtney Barnett all the way to House Deposit.

Those themes are worn proudly on sleeve in the new video for ‘Camera-Shy’, the lead track off the 2003 album Naturaliste, coming to vinyl for the first time this Friday after a successful crowdfunding campaign. Over three and a half minutes of archival footage shot on scratchy super-8 film, we see band members Marty Donald, Mark Monnone and Tali White relaxed and playful while surrounded by friends in both Monnone’s Clifton Hill backyard (in black-and-white) and on tour in Amsterdam (in colour). There are beers, coffees, a cat, a Hills Hoist, an overseas game of kick to kick and even some daggy dancing.

The clip’s warm yet slightly wistful time-capsule vibe fits snugly with the lyrics, all about looking back: “Here’s me in 1981 / squinting into a sinking sun” and “Again in 1993 / a Polaroid you took of me / in a long-forgotten loungeroom.” ‘Camera-Shy’ ticks the usual Lucksmiths boxes: golden guitar jangle, peppy rhythm section, breezy emotional articulation and the clear-eyed tunefulness of White’s singing. The video - edited in the here and now by Lehmann B Smith - also features cameos from such Lucksmiths collaborators as artist Alex Jack, filmmaker Ali Dullard and Architecture in Helsinki’s Kellie Sutherland.

The band’s fifth studio album Naturaliste was originally released in Australia on Candle Records, the dearly departed home to Darren Hanlon and other close peers of The Lucksmiths, and by like-minded indie labels in Japan, Canada, the US and the UK. It’s now seeing vinyl release on Monnone’s label Lost and Lonesome, which just celebrated its 21st anniversary with a showcase at The Toff in Town at the start of the month. Recorded with repeat collaborator Craig Pilkington, the album was the band’s last before Louis Richter (Mid-State Orange) came on board playing lead guitar. It continues to broaden their sound well beyond the stripped-down, folky indie-pop of their early records throughout the ’90s.

This 500-run vinyl reissue follows that of 2005’s Warmer Corners, with further reissues to come. Considering the band’s lasting influence and deep discography across a 16-year-run, it can be hard for newcomers to know where to start with The Lucksmiths. So why not start here?

Watch the new clip for ‘Camera-Shy’ above, and head to The Lucksmiths' bandcamp page to pick up Naturaliste on freshly-pressed 12" vinyl.