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“One million percent serious”: TLOBF talks commitment with Florian Lunaire

“One million percent serious”: TLOBF talks commitment with Florian Lunaire

13 September 2011, 16:00
Words by Andy Johnson

Do you know what you will be doing for the the rest of your life? Florian Lunaire believes he does. In addition to fronting elusive London band Disappearers, the singer-songwriter plans to record and release an EP for every season that passes, a project which began in Spring of this year and will end only when he dies. Although he claims to be “one million percent serious” about this bold commitment, he affirms it with a joke – he will excuse himself, he says, only “in case of nuclear holocaust” or if he loses “both hands in a freak rock climbing accident”. Under the grand promises, though, what really makes Lunaire and his songs tick?

“Like a lot of songwriters”, he admits, “I used to think that I was this tormented soul who needed to send myself to the darkest places to write.” Now, things are different. “I just feel that there’s enough beauty and pain and inspiration in the world to keep creating forever. Meeting new people, hearing new languages, the things humans do with words, it’s pretty amazing as it is. That’s the source I like to tap into.”

Put out by Records Records Records in April and June respectively, Lunaire’s Spring 2011 and Summer 2011 EPs have been well-received. Showcasing a kind of bright, often piano-laden but idiosyncratic pop, these first releases have already demonstrated that Lunaire has the songcraft to translate his vivid inspirations into engaging tunes. What has provoked the seasonal project is Lunaire’s desire to keep learning. “It’s the self administered kick up the butt I needed to stop messing around and to focus my music, writing and ideas.”

To Lunaire, words are as integral to that process as music. Interestingly, his description on the label’s website mentions not that he writes songs, but that he enjoys writing short stories which are sometimes set to music. Although he feels it would take more than the “three rubbish unfinished novels” he has to hand, Lunaire believes it would be “amazing to be a published author”. That aspiration absolutely feeds into his perspectives on songwriting. “I remember reading an interview by a guy from Explosions In The Sky (or was it Godspeed?) who was saying that they wanted to remain instrumental because they thought that words weighed down the power of the music. I feel exactly the opposite. When the combination works, I hope the words and music can push each other upwards.”

On the musical side, Lunaire is quick to downplay his reputation as a multi-instrumentalist (“the rest of the guys in Disappearers still escape the studio as soon as I sit behind the drum kit”). But he clearly has high ambitions for his work, which have meant a busy schedule; the recording for Spring took place in London, Summer was created in Los Angeles and the forthcoming Autumn has taken him to Stockholm. On top of all that, the recording of Disappearers’ début album is in full swing.

Somehow, Lunaire’s commitment to his grand project is actually more convincing because of his admission that he is given to the occasional “absurdly overly ambitious, pompous statement”. This one, he says with conviction, is different – a lifelong ambition. “I’ll never stop writing songs. Even if it’s just with a battered detuned acoustic guitar and a tape recorder on a beach somewhere, I know that I’ll keep trying to record them.”

Autumn and Winter, we are told, will be not only darker and moodier but also “more spacious, haunting, and with a bit more venom.” Whatever their eventual shape, if the songs on those forthcoming EPs are as strong as those on Spring and Summer then Florian Lunaire will continue to be a man to keep an eye on. If he can keep honing his already substantial skills for months or years to come, then where it could all end is anyone’s guess.

Spring and Summer are available now via Records Records Records.

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