Luxury has had a pretty exciting and eventful 2015. They released their first album in a decade, Trophies, which also happened to be a high point in an already acclaimed and celebrated discography. Then, guitarist Matt Hinton announced that he was making a documentary of the band’s tumultuous history, titled Biography / Autobiography. So what does Luxury do after all that? Well, they go back in time.
Before Luxury was Luxury, they tore up the Toccoa Falls College campus as The Shroud, and during that time, they recorded a lo-fi album titled Candy, Darling? — which has just been released, for free, on Bandcamp. Originally a cassette-only release, Candy, Darling? is quite a bit rougher and more raucous than the Luxury we’ve come to know, with alternate versions of songs that’d eventually come to appear on Amazing & Thank You. (For example, “(And I Say) Bitter” would go on to become “Bitter, Once Again.”)
However, Lee Bozeman’s voice is as unmistakable as ever, and there’s still that paradoxical mix of delicate and punishing that has always characterized Luxury’s music. And parts of Candy, Darling? certainly stand on their own, like the eight-minute mopey maelstrom of “Anniversary” and the swirling, rollicking “This Season.” Though probably a release for fans and completists only, it provides an interesting glimpse of the earlier days of a band currently enjoying a renaissance.