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Listen: Luke De-Sciscio out with ‘If one thing were different, nothing would be the same’



Luke De-Sciscio out with ‘If one thing were different, nothing would be the same’

On Friday the 16th of December, highly prolific UK folk-artist Luke De-Sciscio released his eleventh full length album. At just 30 years old, ‘If one thing were different, nothing would be the same’ is the latest offering from De-Sciscio in his seemingly ceaseless effort to fully articulate the oscillations of his heart. This record comes off the back of his progressive-folk concept album The Banquet which he released via AntiFragile Music in the summer just passed.

Whilst ‘If one thing were different, nothing would be the same’ may not possess the genre-spanning scope of The Banquet, there is the distinct sense that Luke has returned triumphantly to his natural habitat and that, having overcome what he set out to achieve on The Banquet, does so with a certain feeling of lightness and an audibly contagious sense of peace.

From the album’s opening track ‘I’ll Die A Little’ to the frankly, breath-taking ‘The Tourist’ there is the distinct sense that Luke is revelling in and fully exercising his own creative freedom, be that a sonic freedom or simply the freedom to not be bound by his trajectory thus far.

In the year 2020, Luke had just released his break-out album Good Bye Folk Boy and off the back of the short international tour that followed he was invited to support Cat ‘Yusuf Islam’ Stevens at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival as well as the equally legendary Jose Feliciano at Austin’s SXSW.


Luke explains ‘this felt like everything coming full circle, my grandfather got me into guitar and Jose was his favourite guitarist. Cat Stevens’ ‘Father and Son’ was one of the first songs I really remember opening my eyes to the power of poetry.’ Despite this perceived correlation and the feeling of destiny, these shows were both victims of the 2020 global pandemic. A curveball that had profound emotional consequences for Luke which, when coupled with some close family tragedy, led him on a journey of recovery and therapy that would culminate with the release of The Banquet.

‘‘The Banquet’ really was my impossible task. The boulder from Greek mythology or something. I had gotten it into my head several years prior, this whole narrative, this journey. I was writing these songs between tracks on Good Bye Folk Boy, on the one hand you had these unhinged, effortless, totally free out-pourings of nylon plucked inspiration and then on the other, you had the songs for The Banquet.

‘I ruminated on them. If God is inspiration and his work is in the gaps, then The Banquet was what happened between those divine sparks. I was so petrified to release it for so long, I just keep working on it, working and convincing myself that if I build it, they will come. All kinds of delusional expectations, all kinds of grandiose motivation.

‘I just had to see a way to get it to the end. Because the task was enormous, there were something like 150 tracks running in parallel on some of the sessions, each 8 bars felt like a fully self-contained passage, I tried to give every moment, every room, its own personality, I tried to make it totally unique and unforgettable, I just devoted myself to that idea that I would fully articulate and ceaselessly ‘perfect’ every whim, take it all to its’ ultimate conclusion.


‘And with the help and instrumentation of some folks who’d serendipitously crossed my path over lockdown, we eventually, got there. When it was done – I felt such a sense of liberation. And then the label thing happened, and it all just seemed like every thing was about to pay off.’

Despite his hard-work and that feeling of inevitability, The Banquet went largely unnoticed. A few articles that surfaced following the release praised Luke’s ‘commitment to the vision’ and Robb Donker’s highly respected underground blog American Pancake described the album as ‘monumental’ stating that ‘there would be Luke’s music before The Banquet and Luke’s music after.’

A statement that would ring prophetically true for, just a few short months after The Banquet’s release, Luke has returned with what is currently being described as his ‘masterpiece’ (The Revue).

If one thing were different, nothing would be the same is an album clearly at peace with itself. The title alone alludes to finding solace in the present on account of, not in spite of, the highs AND lows of the past. Yes, this is Luke returning to his stripped back folk origins, but also not afraid to reinforce the sound scape with multiple layers of organic inspiration.


There are subtle embellishments and delicately balanced harmonies, the addition of some orchestration; violin by the staggeringly talented James Morrigan and the occasional inclusion of almost blues-inspired electric guitar which, if you allow your mind to wander, offers a meddling counter-melody to some of the gorgeous vocal tones that lace this album from one end to the other.

As you listen, there is the profound sense of gratitude. Lyrical themes that circle back around tinge every cloud with a silver lining, unafraid to confront the dark but sure to squeeze it for every ounce of light. There is reflections on spiritualism, moments of scathing sardonic wit and a persistent, deeply devotional love.

It is that love in fact, that through the albums 10 songs (12 if you count bonus tracks) that Luke never lets you forget, ‘to love is to love a love that will get away’, ‘have you ever known love without the fall?’ ,  ‘love is war’ – it is clear that for every sorrow tinged revelation, Luke finds karmic closure in the opportunity to pursue that love. To dig deeper into love.


And so If one thing were different, nothing would be the same really is a thank you letter. For, as he sings on The Tourist, ‘the opportunity to try again’.

If one thing were different, nothing would be the same reminds us that, though everything may not go to plan, though the path may be riddled with pot-holes and unexpected twists, we can find gratitude for our history by staking claim to the present. Even our darkest days can just be a page in our evolution and we can find gratitude, even for those, by seizing our capacity to overcome them.

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