In 2014, Luc came in full force with the release of his second full-length album, Tried & True. The ten-track album caught the attention of major, mainstream radio station WDVE, who championed the record and played it on heavy rotation. The album showcased Luc’s ability to merge upbeat rhythms with brutally-honest and relatable lyrics. When he was ready to start his newest project, Bad Seed, Luc turned to Dave Hidek, the same Pittsburgh producer that helped him the attain the folk rock sound in Tried & True. But this time around, the duo wanted to attempt the unknown; they formulated a plan to travel to Nashville, TN, and decided to recruit musicians that they'd never met, much less worked with. “I had this sort of romantic idea. I’d see photos of songwriters and musicians on a studio floor together, no computers, just doing things in that moment, which is probably what made the records that a lot of us idolize so great,” Luc says, “So I got this idea that I wanted to get acquaintances or strangers together and just do that.”
Recorded at Welcome to 1979 Studios, Luc might've gambled -- but didn’t place his bets on just anyone. The lineup of Nashville badasses featured on Bad Seed includes bassist Cameron Carrus, drummer Paul Griffith (John Prine, Jason Isbell, k.d. lang), backing vocals from Leah Blevins, and pianist Jefferson Crow and guitar/pedal steel player Laur “Lil’ Joe” Joamets, both part of Sturgill Simpson’s band from the iconic 2016 album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. And while his studio lineup turned out to be a recruitment of some of Music City’s most valued players, Luc was working on a tight timeline and budget, “We had no rehearsal time, we didn’t rehearse at all actually,” he says, “So we decided to record to tape, it gives you less options to change things. It forces you to make decisions.”
But even with an abundance of unknown variables, Bad Seed found its way. “It would either work or it wouldn’t. Luckily, it really did. We all clicked and worked things out take-by-take.” It’s impossible to ignore that Bad Seed was fated for success, not only because of Luc taking a chance on the setup, but also his ability to organically build songs. While in the studio, Joamets even dubbed his songwriting ‘healing’ which Luc hopes to achieve with Bad Seed, “I try to write about personal experience, and people usually relate in their own unexpected ways. There’s something beautiful about music and the unpredictable ways it connects people.” And if anything, that’s what Bad Seed is -- proof that even out of the unknown, something beautiful can surface.
Paul Luc’s tracks