Being involved in a creative process, whether it being theatre, the visual arts, writing, or music – in other words actually being “an artist” – is on its own, is a highly commendable endeavour. Operating within Liverpool, with its rich artistic history, can be something of a double edged sword. One of the positives is that it can act as some sort of “cultural visa”, it opens some doors rather more easily than say, coming from Grimsby (although, to be fair, it didn’t hinder Corinne Dewey from Swing out Sister). However, the downside is that the artistic bar that you are examined against remains alarmingly high…
So an ‘A*’ to Liam Brown, aka LUMEN, whose artistic manifesto is to set himself aside from any perceived Mersey Sound school of music, and all the usual suspects that lazy terminology may, in the same said lazy way, bring to mind. Basking in the plaudits and accolades from the likes of LIMF and GIT, LUMEN cites his influences as being the Kings of Convenience and the Whitest Boy Around – all cool stuff. But to these ears he has absolutely nailed the artistic sentiment of 1981 New Order circa Movement, and for those Factory connoisseurs out there, their stable mates “The Wake”. His debut single, the sublime and beautiful “What Will Life Make Of You” would surely have been near the top of Anthony H Wilson’s playlist, with its rock steady Gallup bass line and handsome Marr-esqe guitar refrain which acts as the perfect counterpoint to the vocal melody.
His Eighties synth indie-pop vibe continues with the sweepingly melancholic and functional “Seabirds” (bedroom mix), which is highly successful in evoking any particular personal emotional moment of choice for the listener: the sure sign of an artistic connection. “Do it” is another glacial, emotive track, LUMEN’s yearning conversational lyric debating against the urging “Do it” refrain, which spirals round and round inside your head. It’s as if we are caught in the middle of a philosophical debate which is arguing against the merits of activity against procrastination.
In his press articles LUMEN has emphasised the importance of individuality….to acknowledge your influences but not become a pale imitation of them. The way to artistically grow is to use these influences as reference points in your own artistic journey, to act is signifiers. It is obvious LUMEN has this insight, and he possesses the artistic sensibility to travel to any cultural arena his career can take him to. These are the first steps on what could become a very long and satisfying artistic journey.