Lanterns on the Lake – Previewed

Christopher Brown goes in search for the perfect antidote to those Winter blues…

There’s a lot to be said for being out-of-step with the mainstream. While the majority of hotly-tipped talent for this year twitches unhappily between dubstep and RnB, there are plenty of bands finding their own way on the fringes.

Lanterns On The Lake have spent the last four years building their own layered, ethereal sound which has more in common with Sigur Rós and Low than where the experts believe the charts will be headed in 2012.

That said the Newcastle-based sextet is growing in popularity, with some heavy-weight backing from Lauren Laverne’s 6 Music programme. Fittingly, for a band which flirts so heavily with indie folk, this is a quiet revolution, with the band growing their fanbase with small, low-key shows: last year they played a free gig at Leaf and now they play a small show in Static Gallery.

It’s the perfect venue for the sound, however, with Hazel Wilde and Adam Sykes’ vocals betraying a vulnerability present throughout their debut album, Gracious Tide, Take Me Home.

Released in the Autumn of last year, tracks like opener Lungs Quicken, make the most of the band’s impressive numbers with an electronic sound layered upon a folk base, while Wilde’s voice begs somebody to stay alive with her; Think My Bloody Valentine after a couple of valium.

It’s a real variety of sounds with a violin wrestling for your attention while a drum machine fights its own corner too. The other side of the band’s sound is a more simple folk affair – Ships In The Rain has a whimsy to it which keeps things simple.

It’s the kind of music that can make you slump low into your chair and stare into the middle distance. It’s also the kind of music that can touch the heart and raise the spirit, even if it is all tinged with melancholy,

The album was obviously recorded on a shoe-string but this lo-fi aesthetic means the band is able to create a powerful sound live. Instruments are swapped between songs and everything is aimed towards creating the type of sound with should keep the cold out on these winter nights. Catch them now to inject some warmth and chase away that post-holidays lull.

Christopher Brown

Thursday Jan 19th Static Gallery, 23 Roscoe Lane, Liverpool, £6.50



Posted on 13/01/2012 by thedoublenegative