And Now For Something A Little Different

the child in red

Possibly you didn't know that I have a brother called Luke. You know about Tom, of course, and also about Susie, but the time I posted that hideous photograph of the four of us on the back lawn of our old house in England, someone asked in the comments "who's that child in red?"

Which made me think that hmm, perhaps I don't talk about my other brother enough. And the few times I do, he's wearing a santa outfit. Or playing the euphonium.

Luke is possibly the world's best just-turned-17-year-old musician, and alright, I'm biased, but when he stands at the door to his room and says "hey, I've written a new song, want to listen?" you'd better believe I'm going to turn off the Wilco and come in and listen. My dad taught him to play the guitar when he was ten or eleven, and he sort of just took it himself from there. (My dad, I'm sure, is incredibly relieved to have one child who can play the guitar. We all remember how it worked out with me.)

Anyway, I thought you might want to hear for yourself. Luke recorded both these songs in his bedroom a few weeks ago, and everything you hear on them—every voice, every instrument—is his. The first is about his girlfriend (I know! I still think he's about six and now he has a girlfriend!) who recently went to Burma on vacation. The second is about a friend of his whose mother suddenly had a miscarriage quite late in the pregnancy. The baby was going to be called Victoria.

You can click "play" on the thing Sean designed below to stream the songs; they'll start immediately. (Look how he made it match all pretty with my site! Clever boy!) And if you want to read Luke's lyrics, they'll pop up here.

You don't have to listen, of course, but maybe you want to. Maybe it's a slow Friday at the office and no-one will notice if you slip the headphones on instead of working on the Anderson account. Maybe you need to get "Livin' On A Prayer" out of your head. Maybe you just want to take a break and sit in front of your screen and close your eyes and think about nothing and listen to something beautiful. And maybe, hopefully, you just don't mind indulging a girl who's fiercely, fiercely proud of her little brother.

Dec 01, 2006

God they're so beautiful!!!! I like this part:

Got a simple notion balanced in my mind
To empty out the oceans
And drain away the tides
Stop the wind and
Move the stars for
Poor Victoria

And he's only 17?!?!?!

Dec 01, 2006

Wow. Just, wow. Absolutely beautiful; you're telling me this is the composition of a just-turned-seventeen-yr-old? There's some serious talent in your family!

Dec 01, 2006

ok you finally got me to delurk to say these are wonderful....better than so much that is shoved down our throats. Tell him to keep at's great both lyrically and musically.

Dec 01, 2006

good lord! i'd buy his cd in a minute...and a copy for everyone i know. he's simply amazing.

Dec 01, 2006

Lovely. Really lovely.

Dec 01, 2006


Dec 01, 2006

Those are both really good, you should be proud. My boyfriend's son likes to write and play and sing too, and I am always amazed at what he can do by himself in his room with a computer. His voice is not nearly as good as your brother though. He should burn some CD's and then you can sell them to us!

Dec 01, 2006

All that talent bursting out of one family alone? Holy smokers!

Dec 01, 2006

Oh, I forgot to mention haircuts. Your family has talent and cool haircuts. It's not fair, really.

Dec 01, 2006

Your brother is quite talented.

If I was some big record industry executive, I would whisk him away on my private jet and sign him for a brazillion dollars.

Sarah Marie
Dec 01, 2006

I have been thoroughly enjoying your archives for the past couple of days...was Luke the brother in the pink bow-tie tuxedo in those gala pictures? I love hearing about your family! Everyone seems so talented and worldly.

Dec 01, 2006

the songs are really lovely.
thank god all my siblings are still to young to exhibit such jealousy inducing talents!

Dec 01, 2006

I swooned a little.

Dec 01, 2006

Yet another instance during which I wish we didn't have this internet ban at work. No videos. No streaming media.

But, I can see the thing Sean designed, and my! That's pretty.

Dec 01, 2006

He's a peach, that brother of yours. Those were so, so lovely.

Dec 01, 2006

Ok, is it too pathetic that I'm actually jealous of your brother's girlfriend?
The songs are just lovely, Damien Rice meets Johnny Lang.

Dec 01, 2006

Who in their right mind would choose a vacation in Burma over THIS? I've never been to Burma and I'm sure it's quite lovely, but... seriously?

Dec 01, 2006

If I were only 17 again, I would have an incredible crush on your brother. I found his MySpace page where you can listen to a few songs on a loop. I's very mesmerizing. I'd buy a CD!

Dec 01, 2006

I've decided to have a crush on him even though I'm not 17. That's not creepy at all.

Dec 01, 2006

His music brought me out of lurking..... I would buy it.

Dec 01, 2006

I have to delurk, as well. This gives me hope after a workday spent reading gossip sites about useless pop stars. The youth, they have a chance. (Sidenote: 17? do you know what i was doing at 17? probably nothing, except maybe dreaming about having a cool musician boyfriend like your brother.) Kudos to him.

Dec 01, 2006

Beautiful -- what a talent! Did he use GarageBand to record these? I too would buy this music, if it was for sale.

Dec 01, 2006

Not to be an echo, but WOW, these are amazing songs. Reminds me a lot of Jose Gonzalez. I look forward to hearing more!

Dec 02, 2006

Your brother is amazingly talented! Gorgeous, gorgeous music. Wow.

Dec 02, 2006

I'm usually just a lurker on your site, never commented before but WOW. Loved it! (and so far i've only heard the first half of the first song)

Dec 02, 2006

PS. I know exactly how you feel. My younger sister has become an incredible pianist in just a few years, and every time I hear her play I almost cry, and I want the whole world to hear her. So I was happy to indulge you :)

Dec 02, 2006

he is actually really good!!! if he makes a cd of his music please, please sell it on your new website. that would be awesome:)

Dec 02, 2006

wow...what else can be said. this bedroom recordings sounds like something you would pop in your cd player on a spring drive or when you want to sit back on your sofa and contemplate the problems of the word...
he needs to do something with this, share his art with the world!

Dec 02, 2006

Holy cow. That's better than most of what I heard on the radio in my car today. When / if he cuts a CD, sign me up!

Dec 02, 2006

Wow, those were very beautiful. Thank you for sharing them!

Dec 02, 2006

de-lurking to beg Sean to make those downloadable. Those were simply WONDERFUL.

Dec 02, 2006

wow, so great!

Dec 02, 2006

Delurking to say WOW! Completely haunting, he's going to do just fine with this if it's more than a hobby for him!
Thanks so much for sharing his music with everyone here, and can I get them for my iPod?

Dec 02, 2006

I might have to change my mind about blonde boys.

Dec 02, 2006

As a professional musician with a boyfriend who is a professional musician in LA, both of us with lots of friends and colleagues who are also professional musicians, I am around music and music-makers 24/7. There are a lot of good musicians out there. However, there are also a lot of not-so-good musicians.

Your brother is among the best I've heard. This boy needs to get himself into a recording studio and get these out to the masses.

How do we get to his Myspace music page? How do we help market him? Please tell him to get a demo together and I'll take it to everyone I know on the both coasts. He needs to become a rock star...

Dec 02, 2006

Wow! Thank you so much to everybody for their compliments! I have to admit I was getting a teeny bit misty-eyed just reading all those nice things that everybody has written. If you would like to check out my Myspace for a couple more songs, simply go to

Sara, I don\'t have a Mac, so therefore can\'t use Garageband, but I make do with a free program from the internet called KRISTAL.

I live in Singapore, where the music scene is pretty constricted (and restricted), so I play my own as a hobby. I would have to think for a bit about charging people to listen to something I really enjoy doing!

But again, thanks so much for everything nice that everyone has said; I really am happy that people can enjoy my music the way I can when I write it!

jenny lee
Dec 02, 2006

it's a very interesting combo of jack johnson and bob dylan...his music i mean.
very nice...soothing...with good lyrics. good job :)

Mary Dawn
Dec 02, 2006

my 3 year old is spinning around sweetly with a very somber expression on her face as i listen to 'Burma'...luke is quite brilliant

Dec 03, 2006

Nice. I'd like to add his songs to my playlist in between Joseph Arthur and Patty Griffin.

Dec 03, 2006

seriously? your family makes me want to vomit a a good way. you are all too talented (and wickedly attractive) to be real. your brother is a little damien rice, a little joshua radin, and a little elliot smith, all rolled into one...amazing talent!

Dec 03, 2006


All I can think about is how the mother of Victoria must have felt when she heard the song (eh... did she?). I recently lost my baby as well, in the 6th month of my pregnancy, and my really feel touched when people send me a note from the heart. But you... you write a song about it. And what a pretty song it is! Victoria's mom must feel very special that you wrote this for their family...

Stay passionate. It's a beautiful thing!


Dec 03, 2006

Goosebumps! Beautiful.

Dec 03, 2006

I never showed my friend or her mum the song I wrote, because I was afraid of what they would think. But after hearing what you said, maybe I should.

Dec 04, 2006

Delurking to say that if Luke has a CD of songs, I would buy about five for myself and one for every one of my friends! Totally unique (which is almost impossible to find) and amazingly beautiful.

Dec 04, 2006

ok, so really, your family is just this master race of beautiful, charming, intelligent, witty, writers and musicians... is that right?

Dec 04, 2006


My only criticism, and it's quite small, is that we didn't get to hear any euphonium.

Dec 04, 2006

The lyrics are incredibly deliberate and mature (and not just for a 17 yr old). And the music is beautiful. You do indeed have a reason (or many) to be proud of your bro. That is tre-cool. -- Lemmie know when he puts an album out! =)

Dec 04, 2006

I'm blown away. Seriously, how did your family get so much talent?

Dec 05, 2006

(delurking to say that, 1: Holly, I love your site! and 2: Luke, I love your songs!)
This is going to sound repetitive...but wow. Those songs just blew me away. I've had a really long, rough day and for some reason this just made it a whole lot better. :)
I want these songs on my iPod for lazy afternoons, laying in grassy meadows and such. The talent! It is endemic in this Burns family.

Dec 05, 2006

Oh, this is simply wonderful! Like another commenter above, I am watching my three year old stand rapt before the computer, listening to the songs for the tenth time. And I'm right next to him. Because this is lovely, smart, irresistable stuff, and I want more, more more! I would buy a CD in a second!

Luke, if my boys turn out anything like you, I will weep with pride.

Dec 05, 2006

Luke Burns, you made me cry at work. Good for you! How on earth are you only 17??

Seriously, I'm so not exaggerating when I say that, whereas most of what's on the radio leaves me cold these days, those are two of the most beautiful, poignant songs I've heard (and re-heard) in ages. A recording studio and a CD release must surely be in this lad's future. However, if he's not ready to sell them - please give them away! To us!

Dec 06, 2006

Wow. They're amazing. Really. I'll probably have to come back to this post every day.

And, also, you all have to be the most good looking family I've ever seen.

Dec 07, 2006

good gracious! he is simply amazing. he needs to record a cd and then sell it to me. i can't stop listening to these songs. he is INCREDIBLE!!!! and he's very good looking.

Dec 11, 2006

Making the first complaint. Well, besides that I can't buy this anywhere! I was listening to Burma last night while studying and now? Totally stuck in my head! Luke - all your fault!

Dec 12, 2006

I want these songs now. And anything else he has. Please tell him to record a CD. I started listening to Ok Go because of you, now I'm addicted to Luke Burns as well. Anyone else you can recommend?