WHEN COVID-19 sent Australia into lockdown last autumn it seemed like most of the country was either watching Tiger King or learning how to bake sour dough.
Not Luca Brasi. The Hobart emo punks decided the time was nigh to home bake their fifth album.
Self-recording and producing an album had long been an ambition for the band, and with border closures isolating Tasmania from the rest of Australia and the vast majority of music engineers, it was time to embark on that aspiration.
The band had already recorded the singles This Selfish Love and Tangled; Content before COVID with engineer Andrei Eremin (Tones and I, Tash Sultana). Eremin urged them to continue alone and Luca Brasi bought their own recording equipment.
The recordings were sent to Eremin for mastering and Kisschasy's Darren Cordeux also assisted by proxy.
Ironically the resulting album, Everything Is Tenuous, is the most polished of Luca Brasi's career.
"We looked at doing something similar in the lead up to recording anyway and with COVID hitting, it made up our minds for us," Luca Brasi drummer Danny Flood said.
"It was nice to get the first mix back. We basically did a test song and got it mixed and mastered and it was that waiting game to see if it sounded any good and if that was how we could proceed.
"I was pretty happy with how it turned out, so that was how we progressed with the rest of the album."
The drums for Everything Is Tenuous were recorded in Luca Brasi's Hobart CBD rehearsal space before the guitars, bass and vocals were completed at the homes of guitarists Thomas Busby and Patrick Marshall.
The released singles This Selfish Love, Dying To Feel Alive and Tangled; Content are among their most melodic songs, while album tracks like Restless and Everything Time You're Here (I'm Gone) display a new-found maturity.
There's even a synth-driven collaboration with indie artist Kat Edwards, called Sea Sick, to close the album.
"When we released Tangled; Content people closest to us were saying they liked our new direction," Flood said. "For us we thought it was normal Brasi stuff.
"The rest of the album has punk rock songs in there, but it's certainly more melodic and a slightly different type of writing. We don't purposely write it that way, but we certainly don't write the aggressive punk rock we used to when we first started out. I guess we've just evolved that way."
After 12 years and five albums as a working band, the boys from St Helens have reached a point of confidence in their career. The top-10 ARIA chart success of 2018's Stay also helped.
"This is our fifth album and we must know what we're doing and must be doing an OK job for people to stick by us," Flood said.
"You do have confidence that you can write good music, but you never know until you release it. It's always a little daunting, but very exciting."
Luca Brasi's album Everything Is Tenuous is out on Friday.