The Luyas from Montreal did their first live performance in December 2006. Their first album, Faker Death came out in August 2007, and was re-released in January 2008 on Pome Records; that label was subsequently disbanded and the album’s distribution rights were picked up by You’ve Changed Records.
Jessie Stein, formerly active in SS Cardiacs, is also a member of Miracle Fortress, and is the sister of By Divine Right’s José Miguel Contreras. Amato and Schneider are both members of Bell Orchestre, Amato also plays in Torngat and was formerly a horn player for Arcade Fire.
The band played at the Pop Montreal festival in 2008 and the M for Montreal Festival in 2009.
The band uses an uncommon set of instruments featuring guitars, a French horn, piles of keyboards, drums and percussion. Singer/guitarist Jessie Stein expands the band’s musical vocabulary when she plays the Moodswinger, a 12-string electric zither designed by the Dutch experimental luthier Yuri Landman. The band became a four piece band with the addition of Mathieu Charbonneau in their line-up.
The Luyas were profiled by McSweeneys in the spring of 2010. In the same year the band signed to Dead Oceans for a release of their second album. Working with engineer Jeff McMurrich (Tindersticks, Constantines), The Luyas have also teamed up with friend and colleague Owen Pallett, who is lending his arranging skills and violin playing to a number of tracks.
The Luyas released their second album Too Beautiful to Work on Dead Oceans in February 2011. The Canadian release of the record was also in February 2011 via a new imprint called Idée Fixe Records.