Direct and dream like is how I would describe the new record by Lanterns On The Lake. Spook The Herd does just that with striking content and lyrics boldly outlining the state of our current politics and the environmental crisis.
Hazel Wilde’s breathy vocals add a haunting element to the record, directly reflecting some of the themes purveyed. I couldn’t help being reminded of the band ‘Daughter’ upon first listen. The way the vocals and drums interact, both very much in the forefront, leading the way. Drums high in the mix boast clarity and control over the album and the unique drum sound commands the ear throughout. Bass is not instantly evident but once realised, adds a dark foreboding hum which suits the overall vibe.
The sparsity of the arrangements make small percussion parts and harmony stand out. For example, the low fi vocal and what’s sounds like string harmony in the backing throughout are integral to the overall sound, these wouldn’t be as noticeable if the arrangement was too busy. I also really enjoyed the obvious guitar part in ‘Every Atom’. It takes us all by surprise with an arsty riff instead of featuring something more predictable.
After listening through the album, I felt slightly sonically traumatised (in a good way). The lack of mid range instrumentation made me feel slightly uncomfortable, as I felt something was lacking. However, perhaps the point of the album having no stable centre was to reflect the existential issues we are now facing. If so it has done its job perfectly.
This album is definitely making waves already for its content and like tulips in spring time, it’s definitely a grower.