New To Me – New To You – Lanterns On The Lake

This weeks NTM-NTY may well not actually be New To You they’ve been making music for a while and achieved a modicum of success but until I heard them in session with Lauren Laverne the other day I hadn’t actually got around to listening to them.

They’ve been one of a whole host of great bands in session on 6 lately. The Wave Pictures were notably brilliant on Marc Riley (new double album out next Monday, expect me to be talking about it in the not too distant future) and this week there’s a host of bands at Maida Vale as part of 6 Music Live including the majestic Sigur Ros and the less majestic Paul McCartney, you can’t win them all I guess.

Anyway without further ado, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls it’s my pleasure to introduce…

Lanterns On The Lake are a 5-piece band. They currently consists of Hazel Wilde, Paul Gregory, Sarah Kemp, Oliver Ketteringham and Andrew Scrogham. They’ve been around long enough to lose a couple of members along the way with the brothers Sykes (Brendan & Adam) leaving between the debut album and their recent second effort.

You’d probably find them under chamber-pop if you could ever find a record store with a chamber-pop section! The vocals could certainly be called ethereal, (though does that just mean a bit whispery if we’re being honest?) there’s a decent whack of strings, and a surprising amount of glockenspiel. There’s a nod to post-rock in the arrangements and the dense layering of instruments. All rather pretty for want of a better adjective.

They’re from the currently very rich North-Eastern Scene (see personal favourites Let’s Buy Happiness for some evidence to back up my story) In LOTL’s case they’re from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne to be precise but there’s not a hint of geordie in Hazel’s singing voice.

LOTL formed in 2007 they self-released a pair of EP’s in 2008 and 2009 respectively before signing to Bella Union and have just released their second album “Until The Colours Run” on what might just be the best record label in the world (that’s personal opinion of course but it’s a pretty darn special label)

If you’ve got a taste for the epic but under-stated. It’s a hard trick to make something sound both incredibly intimate and hushed but have the ability to kick through into something loud and dense and they pull it off stunningly. The arrangements are beautifully constructed and if you’re a sucker for a slow build like me you’ll find lots to love here. They’ve been lucky enough to tour with the likes of Low & Explosions In The Sky and fans of those bands will find a lot to love. The bewitching vocals might even end up introducing them to a larger audience than either of those bands have managed to date.

Why Not?
It’s the sort of music that demands your full attention and the precise layered sound wont appeal to everyone. If you’re looking for that immediate hook or a big pop chorus you’re probably in the wrong place. I’m sure some people might find them a touch repetitive too but to my ear there’s little to complain about here!

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