Byron Bay-based folk/indie pop four-piece The Lucky Wonders have made a huge entrance onto the Australian music scene in the short time since they formed, with a trail of rave reviews left in the wake of their album Thirteen O’Clock, two singles in the semifinals of the International Songwriting Competition and mammoth touring efforts. Songwriters Emma Royle and WAMI Award winner Jessie Vintila first came together to create live music for puppet show Puppets Break Out, playing an 11-show season in the 2009 Adelaide Fringe Festival. The collaboration was such a success they were inspired to pursue it head-on, and formed the core of The Lucky Wonders.
Within a few months the duo had enlisted the help of ARIA nominee Anthony Lycenko (Pete Murray, Xavier Rudd, The Beautiful Girls), Ben Franz (The Waifs, Tim Rogers) on bass and lap steel, and Dave Sanders (Rodriguez) on drums. Co-producing with Lycenko at Byron Bay’s Rocking Horse and 301, they created the twelve tracks comprising Thirteen O’Clock, which was to meet overwhelming critical acclaim.
In October 2009 they formed a four-piece band, with Jessie on lead vocals, guitar and ukulele, Emma on guitar, ukulele and backing vocals, Anastassijah Scales on drums, and currently Sam Parker on bass.
The band found a warm reception for their beautifully crafted songs and warm, quirky, irreverent banter all over Australia, venturing to far-flung reaches of WA and the top end. They opened for Pete Murray, Paul Greene, Sal Kimber and The Rollin’ Wheel, and Skipping Girl Vinegar, and played some premier venues around the country such as The Vanguard, NotesLive, Lizottes, Heritage Hotel, The Soundlounge, The Powerhouse, The Troubadour, and Settlers in WA, and a sell-out show at Darwin’s famous Railway Club.
On arriving home to Byron Bay, The Lucky Wonders returned to the studio to record follow-up singles Anyway, inspired by Emma’s leap of faith in selling her flat to fund The Lucky Wonders, and Thing About Leaving, a country-esque sigh of homecoming contentment. They released the tracks as a double A-side, welcomed by fans and critics alike.
I’ll Be Fine, a poppy, driving love-longing song released in September 2011, was met with Triple J airplay, a place in the semifinals of the International Songwriting Competition (along with Anyway), and again found The Lucky Wonders topping Unearthed Roots. The accompanying national tour saw The Luckies’ fanbase growing all over Australia.
After successfully crowdfunding $20,000 to make a second album, The Luckies headed into the studio with engineer/co-producer Govinda Doyle (Angus and Julia Stone) for the follow-up to Thirteen O’Clock: Lay Down My Arms.
The Lucky Wonders are staging a special show at Sphinx Rock Cafe, and if you’re getting together with your dad for Father’s Day, bring him on down, he might just love it. In fact The Luckies’ famous dad song Turn On In is featured on their new album. Named ‘Gig of the Year’ in Rhythms magazine, The Lucky Wonders are playing as a trio with the wonderful Brent Calcutt on double bass, just before they take their internationally renowned songwriting and warm, quirky charm off for a European adventure. Guests of honour Raise the Roof Community Gospel Choir open the show with their funky and uplifting Afro-American acapella tunes.
Get Lucky at the Sphinx Rock Cafe on Sunday.