“Art Of Fighting have come out of hibernation and delivered a superb record that oozes charm and quality from end to end… they are still master songwriters and performers.” – The Music
“It’s quite apt that a band whose languid, lingering music rewards patience took a lazy 12 years between releases.”– The Guardian
“After more than 10 years, Art of Fighting’s slowburning splendour still smoulders brightly, and in an ever-changing world that kind of dependable consistency is sometimes the greatest reward there is.” – Double J
“It was clear that even after 12 years away from the game, Art Of Fighting had barely missed a trick, effortlessly dipping back into these songs like it was 2007 all over again.” – Tone Deaf
“Seeking to pick up where the band left off a decade ago, Art of Fighting were a certified hit at Howler.” – The AU Review
Art of Fighting return with their first album in twelve years. Entitled Luna Low, the album is out todayviaRemote Control Records. It is just as expansive, heartfelt and sublime as you could have hoped, but with a newfound wry sense of humour.
Art Of Fighting played their last live shows in 2008, although they say “we never really decided to go on hiatus and we never broke up.” A period of parenthood, work, international living and other adult pursuits intervened.
Of the finished album, Art Of Fighting says: “Luna Low is not an autobiographical work, more a proxy by which we can reflect on some of our own could-have-beens and would-have-beens. It’s about dreams past becoming reduced dreams of the present, ageing and lifestyle colliding, growing up after growing up, and perhaps, the first set of AOF songs that approach these themes with a somewhat playful eye”.
It was actually only a few years before the band were back together in the jam room, “just for fun.” By 2012 they had begun a fairly measured process of rehearsing, writing and demoing, until they were finally ready to begin recording for a new album.
They worked with drummer Marty at the helm (who has recorded Clare Bowditch, Jen Cloher and others), first taking advantage of the natural reverb at Brunswick’s Masonic Hall, then at Marty’s Standalone Studios in Coburg. The album was mixed by Marty and mastered by US icon Greg Calbi.
Some tracks seem to reflect on the band’s onetime status as the Australian music industry’s most debonair party animals. Blues In H, about a night out in San Francisco where the narrator realises he’s not 27 anymore, is a case in point, as is Dickhead’s Lament, a litany of past bad behaviour recalled through a faintly regretful lens.
Peggy Frew has contributed a standout track to each of Art Of Fighting’s prior albums, and Luna Low is no exception. Now an award-winning fiction writer with two novels published by Scribe, Frew stretches lugubriously over the album’s seven and a half minute epic The Digger And the Dragger, a flash-forward to the end of life for two lovers who still feel like they have only just met.
After twelve years,Luna Lowmakes it seem as if Art Of Fighting just had a brief nap and awoke refreshed, to make their most compelling, rewarding and affecting album yet.
Art Of Fighting – Luna Low Album Tour
Friday 16 August – The Corner, Melbourne
Presented by Triple R TicketsSaturday 31 August – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney Tickets
Saturday 7 September – The Foundry, Brisbane Tickets