URL: https://www.safeashouses.ca/

The blushing guitar part that welcomes us into “Lucky Lucky” might be the most alluring charm to be discovered in the title track of Safe as Houses’ latest record, which is best described as a taut and simplistic single from the burgeoning Ontario group. My first impression of this song was, admittedly, not a very good one, but once I let go of my prerequisite expectations and listened closely to the detailed textures the instrumentation sports with pride, I reassessed my initial judgement as being a bit rushed. “Lucky Lucky” isn’t the best single of 2019, but it’s a creative addition to Safe as Houses’ body of work all the same.

The vocal track feels a little forced, and it’s one of the only inorganic parts in the song that didn’t sit well with me in my early review of this single. It’s not that the singing isn’t sugary and pop-friendly, but more that it’s a tad much for the understated nuances that “Lucky Lucky” relies on to capture our hearts. The guitars prevent the volatility of the verses from clouding our perception of the hook, but I definitely would have preferred to hear a little less gusto from the singer in this scenario.

Lyrically, “Lucky Lucky” spotlights this band’s unique use of enigmatic poetry better than the other tracks that it’s joined by on the album do. Safe as Houses have always had an affectionate way with words, and this track could be their most complete and well-rounded song from this particular standpoint. It’s disappointing that the vocal doesn’t equal the majestic tone of the words that it conveys, but even if they had recruited a complete amateur to croon their way through these lyrics, I think that the verses would be just as enriching an element as they would with a master vocalist behind the mic.

As a guitarist, I always tune into the string play that I hear in any given single, but you don’t have to be a riff-obsessed stan like myself to appreciate what these licks do for the likability of “Lucky Lucky.” This is, after all, a song that comes outfitted with slim arrangement trimmed of any unneeded fat, but apparently Safe as Houses didn’t apply the same uncluttered approach to melody to the guitars as they did everything else here. For my money, this decision is what ultimately saves this song from being just another spring indie track in a sea of sonic experimentations.

Love them or hate them, Safe as Houses are a band of true individuals who aren’t afraid to do their own thing, even when it means going against the grain of a boiling-hot underground sound on the verge of attracting some epic mainstream attention. They’re not the only group in Ontario that we’ve been talking about this season, but they’ve got something in their style that makes me wonder how much longer they’re going to remain an indie obscurity. 2019 is far from over, and as “Lucky Lucky” is building a momentum for Safe as Houses that they can comfortably ride into the next decade of new and inspired Canadian music.

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Lucky-Safe-As-Houses/dp/B07Q4B3FR8

Michael Rand

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