Interview: Archer & Light

Published in The Music (WA) | 04.09.13 | Issue # 4



A full-time sound engineer, Archer & Light frontman James Luscombe stood in front of his computer and threw sounds around like an abstract painter flicking his brush at a canvas. Daniel Cribb tries to decipher the band’s latest work of art.

In 2009, after kicking around Perth for only a couple of years, Archer & Light made an abrupt and unexpected withdrawal from the live music circuit. Perth’s known for high quality acts, but like most other states, there’s a high turnover of artists. With three years passing, most people assumed the band had fallen by the wayside.

“We just kind of went into hiding and kept rehearsing and writing and really refining. We recorded every rehearsal; I’d bounce them out and send them out and we’d analyze what we were doing and make notes,” frontman James Luscombe explains. “We didn’t want to find our sound onstage, and in front of people. We wanted to be a finished product. ”

Three years may seem like a long time, but when they returned in 2011, they were welcomed back to a packed out Rosemount Hotel when they launched their debut recording, The Black & White Demo. While they had a completely different lineup and sounded different, they still hadn’t quite found the vibe they were looking for.

“With The Black & White Demos, we were still kind of finding our sound and everything, and this latest one is a little more conscience and a little more refined in what we wanted to sound like in that collaboration of electronica and folk…it’s the core of what we want to be; this blend of electronica and folk, but still be accessible pop wise.”

It was his perfectionist attitude that halted the production Our Love Is Confetti for so long. Being a full-time audio engineer, Luscombe spends more time perched behind a mixing desk, quietly sitting at the back of the room than he does on the stage, which clearly reflects the new EP release. “We approached it more as a whole record, trying to get everything to flow as opposed to just songs put on a CD together, and I think one thing we focused on more with this record was space and make sure nothing overlapped.”

With everything sitting in its own environment in the mix, Luscombe’s lyrics finally have room to tell a story and convey meaning. “I’ve always been inspired by people whose lyrics are brilliant; trying to take a story or situation and then describe it in a way that doesn’t seem cliché or obvious, but also is going to bring up images that you can then relate to.

“Storytelling is my way of writing lyrically. My songs always end up being stories of some description and I think it’s taken me a while to accept the way that I write lyrics, because obviously you look up to your idols and are like, ‘Why can’t I write stuff like that?’, and then you come to terms that you’re not them and you’re better off writing your own stuff rather than trying to copy what they’re doing.”

WHAT: Our Love Is Confetti (Independent)