There's something about Luke Rathborne reminiscent of the artists of yesteryear. Before hurried attention spans switched on and off at lightning speed, before the internet existed, before music was available on the Internet -- before all of that, there was a certain rumination involved in listening to records. Rathborne moved to New York from Maine at the age of 18 and since then has released three EPs, his most recent being SOFT. The track "Last Forgiven" was recently played on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show and Rathborne has performed for crowds of up to 30,000 people -- and none of this has caused him to stray from the uniqueness of his oeuvre. SOFT was produced by Emery Dobyns (Antony & the Johnsons), Gus Oberg, and Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes) and is saturated in a combination of musical ingredients, each element feeding smoothly into the next. Rathborne is dictated by the direction of his artful curiosity, intrigued by stories of others and the worlds they inhabit. With influence from Bowie, Eno, R.E.M. and artists of various milieu, Rathborne is able to connect contrasting elements of sound and synthesize them with the addition of his own perspective and uninhibited sense of creative freedom. SOFT is an album with effortless shifts from rock to pop to a fusion of genres -- but then again, what is pop and what is rock? In Rathborne's world there are no restrictions -- sound is sound, music is music, and sincerity inhabits each track, cutting straight through.
We recently caught up with Rathborne in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to talk about the album and influences.