In a sentence:
Vibrant, soulful and urgent, Newcastle’s Lanterns On The Lake reach a new level with fifth album ‘Spook The Herd’.
Originally formed in Newcastle in 2007, Lanterns On The Lake have always produced dreamy and melancholic indie rock combined with beautiful layers of texture and divine melodies that traverse around sophisticated instrumentation. After a gap of nearly five years, the quintetare back with their fourth studio album, Spook The Herd, which could considered their magnum opus and dethroning 2015’s critically acclaimed album Beings as their best.It represents the first time that the band haven’t recorded in Newcastle, decamping to Distant City studios in West Yorkshire village of Ripponden and entrusting guitarist Paul Gregory once again to help them get the album over the line in production terms, because, according the band’s Hazel Wilde, “we are a pretty insular band in how we work, and trusting other people enough to allow them to get involved is not always easy for us.”
On Spook The Herd, the band shifts into another gear
and break new ground in terms of subject matter. Here, we also see the band’s
natural touchstones of gauzy dream-pop and post-rock in the air, combined with
a strong vocal performance from Wilde move their music to a new plane. This
album dives headlong into the existential crises of our times including our hopelessly
polarised politics, social media, addiction, grief and the climate crisis. Yet,
Wilde’s romantic streak is still the record’s beating heart and shines a
hopeful beam of light into the darkness.
The record starts off with ‘When It All Comes True’,
a track which quickly establishes the tone and the message and the intensity of
the delivery. ‘Blue Screen Beams’ is Wilde’s best performance ever, with the
instruments enhancing and complementing her voice and the song’s topic of
climate change and the pessimistic reality of the world and wanting to stay
inside. The drums and the piano are the major components of each song with the guitars
and the occasional violin enhancing their beauty.
Spook The Herd is a rich and luscious journey that
will not be forgotten by its travellers. For years, Lanterns On The Lake have
been unkindly portrayed as a redux version of Siouxsie & The Banshees, but
they seem to have fulfilled their potential and moved into their own, distinct
realm. This record is the true essence of the band, and which will give then
the appreciation that they rightly deserve. Spook The Herd is proof that
their excellence was right there all the time but failed to get noticed. (9/10)
Listen to Spook The Herd by Lanterns On The Lake here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!
Tags: album, Angela Chan, Bella Union, Bob Allan, Lanterns On The Lake, Oliver Ketteringham, Paul Gregory, review, Spook The Herd
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