by Elena Gritzan
I’ll be honest in the fact that I was first aware of Alex Lukashevsky because of the Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) Plays to Please EP, which is composed entirely of covers of songs by Lukashevsky’s former band Deep Dark United. 17 year old me was quite taken with the theatricality and busy instrumentation of the source material, so I made a promise to myself that I would do my best to see an Alex Lukashevsky show upon moving to Toronto. Said show took place Thursday night at the Holy Oak café and I could not have been more pleased with a decision to go to a concert.
But first to play was Prince Nifty, armed with a guitar and some songs he admits he wrote in his bedroom ten years ago (yes, I saw him on Tuesday also, but you can never have too much of a good thing!). The week’s second Nifty set was an exercise in contrast, much like his discography. Instead of a box of synthesizers, he worked with just the guitar and his voice, full of expressive falsettos.
Lukashevsky himself was joined on stage by Daniela Gesundheit of Snowblink and Felicity Williams of Bahamas – quite the combination of bright vocal talent. The songs are full of harmonized vocal exercises and quirky lyrics. The whole show had the effect of being equally calming and mesmerizing; I felt like I could have been sitting in a friend’s living room, yet I was left in awe of Lukashevsky’s ability to write a captivating jazzy folk song.
Lukashevsky fully deserves his dedicated cult following here in Toronto: his ability to craft melodies, earnest delivery, and ear for the dramatic are unmatched.