16 October 2011
listen: gracious tide,take me home
Lanterns on the Lake present their debut album, and we discover it’s a gem.
Hailing from the city of Newcastle in England’s north east, Lanterns on the Lake have delivered a deliciously dreamy and delicate album that simply floats away on a wave of lusciousness and beauty. The gentle lapping of waves on a lake shore is a perfect metaphor for the sweeping sonic landscapes the sextet deliver on their startling debut album.
Each of the eleven songs here have been lovingly crafted to create a body of work that at once reminds you of either Sigur Ros or Low – two other bands equally inspired to create epic and achingly beautiful sounds.
Album opener ‘Lungs Quicken’ sets the tone, slowly sparking into life with its skittering beats, the ethereal vocals of Hazel Wilde and haunted violin, which indeed becomes somewhat of the signature instrument across the album, around which the band twist delicate and intricate layers of melody.
The band simply sparkles when Wilde is joined on vocals by Adam Sykes, their twining vocals complementing each other wonderfully, particularly on the melancholic ‘If I Have Been Unkind (“when you went missing I looked almost everywhere, I sailed the seas, you were never even there”).
Occasionally the pace does quicken – most noticeably on the poppy ‘A Kingdom’ – but it really is the slower tracks when the band seems to feel most at home and comfortable. Recorded in their own homes because in their own words “you only get to make your debut once so we wanted it to be personal and honest and special”, Lanterns on the Lake have achieved that and so much more. At times both romantic and sorrowful, Gracious Tide, Take Me Home is ultimately an endearing triumph of the craft of great song writing. Simply perfect to listen to as the dark night slowly creeps in, it is a little gem.