Newcastle quintet, Lanterns On The Lake, are back with their second album Until The Colours Run. The band have created an album which has been described as ‘spellbinding’, ‘exhilarating’ and was even describe by one critic as being ‘perfection’. But one will admit, nonetheless, that on first listen, one was not completely captivated, nor was er, one, even a fan. Indeed, to say that the album is a grower, would be an understatement.
After one or two second chances, I will admit, I got it. It was only when I realised that Lanterns On The Lake were not in fact attempting to cash in on the success of soundalikes Arcade Fire, and Sigur Ros, that my head was turned by the record. The band from the North East have created a post-rock, political and personal album, in which they deliver their ‘tales from English towns’, they muse about the lack of space to think and breathe in the typical English town, and sing of life in the North East, “So we’ll drink and we’ll sing on the bread line”.
Both the title track Until The Colours Run, and album-opener Elodie are really excellent. Until The Colours Run sounds like a celebration, it sounds hectic and exciting. Elodie on the other hand is a charming and intimate affair. Throughout the album, Hazel Wilde’s fragile voice is strongly supported by the deep and detailed sounds created by her bandmates. Each song is filled with a huge number of intricate features, and special subtleties that deserve all the recognition they have received. Yet it still must be noted that in spite of the willowy and folky sound of the lead’s voice, Until The Colours Run is not easy, background music. On first listen, the album sounds busy and overwhelming, and it takes time and concentration in order to find the album as enchanting and endearing as it’s creators intended it to be found.
If Hazel Wilde’s voice represents the quiet and peaceful life that she so fantasises about, the sounds created by her bandmates stand for the busyness of the life that the members of Lanterns On The Lake are trying to escape. It’s poetic, and though the record might not be instantly beautiful, it really is worth a second listen.