Three years ago, Lulu Gainsbourg launched his career with a wonderful gift for his father who passed away twenty years before. The musician imagined a stunning album of covers, on which he brought together Vanessa Paradis, Iggy Pop, Scarlett Johansson, Marianne Faithfull, Johnny Depp and Rufus Wainwright among others. Entitled From Gainsbourg to Lulu, this album was a prerequisite step before he could take off as a solo artist. “At first, it was important for me to pay tribute to my father’s work. I also wanted his songs to be known in other countries. But to remain the son who indefinitely revisits my dad’s repertoire was out of question. I did not want to go on tour with that record, I was already thinking about my own personal project.” ￼
The most dedicated listeners will remember that on that first record the Lulu let them catch a glimpse of his own work through the original track “Fresh News from the Stars.” Now he is releasing twelve songs under the name of Lady Luck, his first album with original compositions inspired by events from his private life. “Lady Luck was born after a difficult break up. I sat down and started playing the piano to share my emotions.” To do so, Lulu dedicated himself to specific rules, composing and arranged all the songs himself. He draws from his own experience for the lyrics, and, determined to sing in English, he decided to work with American writers. A logical choice for someone who spent several years abroad between London (where he currently lives), New York, Los Angeles and Boston where he attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Lulu was invested in every step of the creative process for his album, so he called upon a few incredible musicians to join him in the studio including Paul Turner and Derrick Mckenzie, Jamiroquai’s bassist and drummer, as well as Drew McConnell from the Babyshambles.
To produce the album, he renewed his collaboration with Jeremy Loucas, whose work with Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding earned him Grammy awards over the past few years. Added to this team are some prestigious guests: Matthieu Chedid and his brother contributed to the single “Lady Luck.” Anne Hathaway and the artist Ara Starck (daughter of designer Philippe Starck) joined Lulu on the album’s two duets: “The Cure” for Anne, and “It’s Always Something” for Ara. “Anne expressed her fondness for my first album in an interview. I contacted her to thank her, later on we had lunch together and a few months down the road we had the duet ready. She is truly a beautiful person and a very talented vocalist. And as for Ara, she’s always been like a older sister to me.” Armed with these collaborators, the recording took place between New York and London.
In the British capital’s Metropolis Studio, Lulu notably found himself playing on Freddie Mercury’s original piano. Despite the numerous guests on Lady Luck, Lulu gives us a very intimate and sincere record. With modesty, the young man opens a dialogue with his parents: he addresses his mother in the beautiful freudian ballad “Moushka,” and speaks to his father on “Destiny,” a title with a disarming text, for which he composed very Gainsbourgesque arrangements. Musically speaking, the album Lady Luck continues to reflect the eclecticism and the open-mindedness of its author, oscillating between sexy funk (“Lady Luck”), pop (“Love on the Rocks”), ￼atmospheric ballads (“Moushka”) and refined instrumentals (in particular the delicate “Lily Rose,” composed for Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp’s daughter).
“I like the diversity, I did not want to give a single tone to this album. I’m inspired by Coldplay as well as Miles Davis, The Rolling Stones as much as Michael Jackson.” Brought out by a sharp sense of melody, the compositions are adorned with delicate and soft arrangements, often giving them a cinematographic charm. As the first real chapter of Lulu’s solo musical history, this Lady Luck is a promise for a bright future. “It was hard to make a name for myself. I was criticized, and maybe there was some jealousy, too. On my side, I do not judge the others. All I know is that I have been behind a piano since I was four. I worked hard, I never gave up. Music is my whole life. I hope this record will help me become Lulu.” Something to look forward to.