L-R: Noah Symons (drums), Mark Monnone (bass), Marty Donald (guitar, vocals), Louis Richter (guitar)
Say hello to Last Leaves, a new band consisting of three Lucksmiths members — Marty Donald, Mark Monnone and Louis Richter — and Noah Symons of Great Earthquake fame. Busily writing and rehearsing in the Dandenong Ranges, the group has found their sound coming together effortlessly and unhurriedly: at once warm and dynamic, the at-times-complex rhythms woven together by intriguing guitar and bass melodies. And after a two year hiatus, Marty Donald's songwriting pen hasn't run dry of vibrant imagery and despondent wit.
And here's a demo that Marty recorded all on his lonesome:
And here's a word or two from the man himself...
"For a while there after The Lucksmiths bowed out a couple of years ago, I wasn’t too sure what to do with myself. I painted some of the house; I watched all of The Wire. Every so often I picked up my guitar, and — less often — an idea for a song would suggest itself. I was happy enough taking my time, so the songs could gradually find their own distinct character. These were the first songs I wrote after moving to the hills just outside Melbourne a few years ago, in my studio overlooking the treetops and rooftops of the valley below, so I guess it’s not surprising that they largely forsake my familiar inner-suburban milieu for the open spaces beyond — for coastal hamlets, country highways and mountainside motels.
Eventually, when I had maybe half-a-dozen songs finished, I began to consider what to do with them. Mark and Louis and I had spoken about working together again ever since The Lucksmiths split, and I couldn’t imagine not having either of them involved. And Noah Symons — a new friend of mine, who turned out to be the man behind the phenomenal one-man-band Great Earthquake, as well as the man behind the coffee machine in my local cafe — agreed to play drums.
And so Last Leaves came to be. It’s early days, of course, and things are still taking shape, but already the new-found sense of space in the songs’ narratives is reflected in their more expansive and dynamic sound. Hopefully you’ll listen at some stage and see for yourself."