Luke Buck is finally stepping in front of the camera, after being behind it for so long.
Luke grew up 2 hours north of Philly, and 2 hours west of NYC. Naturally, his Mom wanted him to become Kenny G — so of course, he first learned to play sax. Later down the road, his drive to learn guitar was guided by “this crazy new thing called the internet”, Counting Crows, Radiohead, and Weezer. Even George W. Bush was an early investor in Buck’s musical repertoire (Stimulus Act of 2008), enabling him to learn how to play the piano.
After college in 2005, Luke moved to NYC and picked up regular freelance film & TV work. Fast-foward to 2008, and he met his ex-girlfriend, Jenny. Enter: quite the rollercoaster ride. Moving in together, getting a dog, the two were both performers. After Jenny picked up a cruise contract that had them long-distance for 9 months out of the year, things turned sour quickly. They broke up, and Luke’s immediate response, in a state of drunken desperation, still sticks with us:
“FUCK IT. I’m starting a band.”
As Luke puts it, “the floodgate opened and so many songs began to pour out. […] It was then that I wrote my entire album and half of my next album.” Then weirdly, it all happened over again (kind of). Luke & Jenny got back together, she moved out of state for law school, and they broke up for good (for now? Nah. Probably for good). This time’s aftermath? A trip to record his album, Dark Matter.
The video for “I Don’t Want To Be Alone Tonight” was one continuous shot, perfected on the 20th take.
For much of Luke’s musical career, he was hesitant to share his music. It was personal, he had taken a few hits to his performing confidence over the years, and he always “hated” the music he wrote himself. Until current day, Luke didn’t think much of anything he’s done would have been possible:
“I couldn’t have written the music I’m writing now when I was younger or be doing the things I’m currently doing. I needed to be in my 30s to have the confidence, ambition, and knowledge that I do now. It took a lot of learning how to be an actual person and to stop caring about what others think to have the confidence that I do now, and even though it took a long time to get to this place emotionally, I’m glad I have all of that to draw from.”
“I Don’t Want To Be Alone Tonight” is a part of Luke Buck’s Dark Matter, both of which deserve a thorough review — but we’ll focus on just the song for now.
“I Don’t Want To Be Alone Tonight” is the self-actualized antithesis to much of what held Luke Buck back for so many years. Rather than keeping his emotional musings to himself, they get spun out into a highly emphatic, fast-paced production.
There’s plenty of wit and diversity in cast, sound, and crew to digest here. Much of the song spends time building up what must have been years of history and reflection, before pushing into the burst of emotion and after-the-fact contemplation. It takes self-awareness to even be performing something so personal — and for listeners, that confidence is inviting and turns a once internalized story into a universal fit of celebration of oneself.
Ultimately, it’s empowering when it didn’t have to be. That’s what I love about it, and I love about Luke. 5/5.
Dark Matter‘s songs were recorded at Degraw Sound with Ben Rice, except for “Alone” which was recorded by Luke and tweaked slightly by Hobo Audio with Chris Stangroom.
The video was shot at Guggenhiem Studios and Edna Luise Biesold was his Assistant Director and Director of Photography. Michael Craven was the steadicam operator, with Barbie Leung his AC, and Alyssa Timoteo as the PA.
Luke Buck’s album Dark Matter is up on both iTunes and Bandcamp for sale. You can follow him on Spotify, too, or Facebook if that’s more of your thing.