Luke Underhill-"Stars"-Atlas Unplugged

Music Audio Luke Underhill
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who has worked with everyone from Elton John and Led Zeppelin to George Harrison and Bad Company would be the main thrust of an introductory story. That would be fine if conventional stardom was the goal, but multi-talented 19-year-old singer/songwriter Luke Underhill is passionate about taking his growing legion of fans deeper into the heart of his artistry - to the organic place where each song began.   In a bold move that offers insight his unconventional approach to recording and performing, he has put out two related projects. A week after releasing his Epps-produced power-pop EP Atlas, Underhill dropped Atlas Unplugged, an all acoustic set featuring stripped down versions of some tunes from Atlas among its eight tracks. Alternating his lead instrumental voice from guitar to piano, he has recently incorporated mandolin, ukulele and looping pedals into his acoustic performances. Working with his full band The Voyage, he’s also rocked festivals and venues in the area around his native Chicago, including EvenFlow in Geneva, Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn and the House of Blues.   ranging from AC/DC and Bruce Springsteen to Ed Sheeran, Underhill’s emotional acoustic renditions of his songs have earned him comparisons to a young John Mayer – while the rock driven arrangements inspire exciting flashes of early Bryan Adams. “For me, the unplugged versions are ways for people to know how I was feeling when I wrote the songs, even on those songs where I’m playing guitar but wrote the original riffs and chords on piano,” he says. “It’s important for my fans to get a sense of how I originally created these, and I think I’m more passionate about my music when I’m playing it with just an acoustic guitar and my voice.  In other words, the idea behind creating Atlas Unplugged was to record these tunes as I originally intended for them to sound. I think all of my music reflects who I am, since they are all sharing my feelings at any given time. For some reason, I feel like the unplugged versions are more intimate and emotional than my full band recordings. What you hear on these is essentially what you would be hearing if you were listening from outside my bedroom door.”    An incredibly soulful and insightful songwriter, Underhill penned “Get Through The Night,” his first tune ever, at age 14 upon the passing of a favorite uncle. His current songs reflect his desire to tap into personal stories (and those of others close to him) to help people who listen feel less alone and get through difficult times in their lives. One of the songs that is gaining great traction and attention is the beautiful and infectious “Something,” which he wrote to express certain feelings about his then-girlfriend that he had a hard time verbalizing. Epps believes that the haunting ballad “Heart of Glass” – which Underhill wrote at 15, inspired by the romantic lament of a female friend upon a breakup – has the potential to be a major hit. Another of the artist’s favorites is “No More Like Me,” written about doing all he could for a girlfriend who he thinks may later regret parting ways with him.   Underhill is currently working on a new recording called Hyphen, dedicated to the life of a childhood friend who passed away unexpectedly while in his late teens. “The hyphen,” he says, “refers to the dash in the middle of the dates on his tombstone. It represents everything he did from the moment he was brought into this world, to the second he left. It hit home pretty hard. The songs are about the lessons learned I have learned so far in my short time on this earth. Likewise, the idea behind ‘Atlas’ is that sometimes we need help and guidance in making decisions about how to live our lives. Just like when you’re traveling to a destination by car, sometimes you need to refer to an atlas to help you get to your destination.”