Duty of Care plays in on, and exits to, the sound of gentle waves. It is metaphor for birth and rebirth. “Ouroboros” is the concept of a loop closing. The word itself is both referenced on the title track, Duty Of Care (Arrival), and is symbolically printed all over this collection, inspired by the arrival of his newborn son.
Conceived as a series of life lessons, Duty of Care looks at the varying roles people are expected to play – particularly those with new life to protect. However, as Luximon speaks in Waits-ian tones, “This is not a manifesto or a benediction”. It is instead a series of meditations for consideration. Over late 60s/70s psych grooves, soul and lounge jazz melodies the album gently guides us through the dreamlike canvases of Luximon’s inner mind. The melding of piano and organic soundscapes (Nothing Ever Happened Down By The River) is a motif which reminds us of our spiritual ties to the earth.
Through glorious reverb and breathy vocals, songs such as recent single Datsun Cherry and the hauntingly beautiful Call Bell examine the parlour trick of life, with its promises of reward and the bittersweet exit we all eventually make. Life lessons are not only given but received, loved and remembered on the epistolary Fearchara. Luximon, playing over plaintive guitar chords, croons: “I hear tales of low seas and high tides, Fearchara / the life rafts were never cut loose by my father.”
At points, the songs seem to simply serve a reflective purpose of looking back, wondering how situations either became or come to be in our personal and societal lives. The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a despairing track, propelled over big toms and fat guitars. It symbolises the many bad choices people make in picking both political leaders and thereby the communities we make for ourselves. Following that theme, I’ve Seen All The Rules laments the bad decisions people are inevitably prone to make but finishes with an epiphany of sorts as he realises “there’s nothing left but daylight now…there’s nothing left to say right now but I love you.”
While everything in between the opener and the finale is Luximon’s thoughts on his different roles as a friend, a partner and a community member, both title tracks – one subtitled Arrival, the other Departure – firmly focus in on his role as a parent. Welcoming a new soul in to the world via a spiritual tide provides a beautiful and scary image, relatable to any expectant parent. On the flip side of that is the feelings of trepidation; the recollection of many lessons learned. Duty of Care does a fine job of giving its listener plenty to daydream on. It is a testament of life, a toast to learning and an ode to closure.