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REVIEW: Lanterns On The Lake – ‘Spook The Herd’ (Bella Union)


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.

Music video for ‘Every Atom’

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.

Music video for ‘Baddies’

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) (Aryan Agarwal)

Listen to Spook The Herd by Lanterns On The Lake here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

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