John Lutkevich is Soft Fangs, a Brooklyn transplant by way of Massachusetts, who writes and sings an affecting brand of lo-fi folk that channels the spirits of Elliot Smith and Jeff Buckley. As with both late artists, Lutkevich’s music boasts an exceptional vulnerability that tugs at heartstrings and activates the tear ducts.
On March 18, the troubadour released his debut LP The Light, an 11-song collection highlighted by the title track. “Writing the song was the starting point for the record, but the recording became a representation for the album as a whole,” said Lutkevich in a statement. “A lot of the themes I touch upon throughout are present in the lyrics for this one. I refer to depression as a dog, which is something that I expressed in my first EP. Losing my head is another one, it appears in the opening line of ‘Dragon Soap,’ as well as this song. Whereas in ‘Dragon Soap’ the expression is phrased as a definitive action, this song presents it as a concept to be explored… I didn’t fully lose my head after all, I just recorded an album instead.”
Today, Nerdist is premiering a video for “The Light,” a five-minute clip shot by Fitz Ross Productions. The video—part of the company’s intimate performance series “Spare Room Sessions”—casts Lutkevich in a warm, candlelit room with an acoustic guitar and a couple microphones. Soft-colored wood and piles of books complement the rustic warmth, providing an ideal setting for the raw, unprocessed soul of his song. “I know you’re running scared / From an endlessness of fear / But when the light comes / Turn around and stare,” sings Lutkevich as his voice breaks. Veins protrude from his neck and forehead, a testament to the catharsis he’s found in the song. “The Light,” both as a song and a video, is intimate and introspective. Hopefully it makes you feel something, too.