Artist: Luke Underhill
EP: Atlas Unplugged
I am always amazed when a young person exhibits such phenomenal talent and chooses to share their talent with the world. Luke Underhill is one such musician. Blessed with an amazing voice, a gift for writing, an uncanny ability to play various instrument masterfully, and a wisdom well beyond his years, one that shines through every lyric he sings, Luke Underhill is a musician to watch. Even more startling is that this young man is only 19-years-old, yet I believe his music outshines anything on the radio today.
From a town near Chicago, Luke’s interest in music began at an early age. Atlas Unplugged is his third EP, with his first EP, Back to November, released in 2013. Luke also plays live with his band The Voyage, and has performed at many venues and festivals around Chicago.
Often compared to a young John Mayer, Luke’s music also reminds me of Train, Bryan Adams, George Michael, and Rob Thomas. Atlas Unplugged features acoustic versions of the songs from Luke’s other EPs, Atlas and Back to November, which had been released only a week earlier. Luke wanted to offer fans a version of his songs that is stripped down and full of raw emotions. He stated that “I feel like the unplugged versions are more intimate and emotional than my full band recordings. What you hear on these is essentially what you would be hearing if you were listening from outside my bedroom door.” The results are simple sounds driven by deep and passionate lyrics.
I usually do not enjoy the acoustic versions of songs because they often sound unpolished, with little care given to balancing the singing and music. However, this is not the case on Atlas Unplugged.
My favourite song on the eight track EP is “Stars (Acoustic)”, which is from Luke’s first EP, Back to November. The original reminds me of “Freedom” by George Michael (one of my favourite songs). The original is fairly upbeat with a steady rhythm, but the music has a tendency at times to overpower Luke’s vocals. However, the acoustic version of the song features only Luke’s vocals and a beautifully played piano. The tempo is slightly slower, and the result is a song that I feel is a million times better than the original, despite my love for the original song. Luke’s willingness to share his raw music with listeners was a wise decision, since both his raw and processed music are so different. This allows listeners to appreciate the extent of Luke’s talents.
The remainder of the EP is equally as amazing, and I highly recommend checking it out as well as Luke’s other EPs. All of Luke’s music can be previewed and purchased on iTunes.
Samantha Stevens is an aspiring writer who loves combining her love for literature with photography, painting, music, and all creative pursuits.