LUH: Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing (Mute) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, September 23rd, 2019  

Lost Under Heaven

Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing

Mute

May 20, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


I was recently trying to describe LUH's excellent debut album, Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing, to a coworker, and he asked what kind of music the band plays. Even after several listens, I was a little baffled: "Rock, sort of... but with mostly electronic instrumentation? I think?"

It's hard to describe exactly what genre LUH fits into because of two main reasons. The first and most immediately noticeable is frontman Ellery James Roberts' voice; Roberts employs a unique growl and passionate delivery, making his voice the most standout instrument among a cadre of guitars, synths, heavy drums, and programmed beats. If it sounds familiar, that's because Roberts was the frontman and driving force behind WU LYF, a mysterious and explosive British band whose one release, Go Tell Fire to the Mountain, remains one of the most notable rock releases of the last decade. Roberts doesn't deserve all of the credit, however; his partner and muse, Ebony Hoorn, shows up to provide a softer vocal contrast to his fiery presence, especially on dreamy highlight "Future Blues."

The second reason LUH's musical stylings are less immediately recognizable is that their energies go toward chasing songs, rather than sounds. WU LYF built their reputation and album on religious themes and meaningful concepts; similarly, the main reason for LUH's existence seems to be to get a message out to the world. Since last year, the duo have released not just songs and videos, but long manifestos and visual art. They are driven by a desire to cut through the bullshit of modern existence and the empty, capitalistic pursuit of prestige and money, and their mode of operation is love and passion.

Listening to Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer energy and catharsis offered by the 12 songs here. Over the course of its hour-long runtime, LUH burns through climax after climax, from the rhythmic repetitions of "Unites" to the all-out sonic explosions in "$ORO." The latter is the centerpiece of the album, and its final third, characterized by a bonkers industrial rave beat, fades away to let beautiful ballads like "Here Our Moment Ends" and "Loyalty" breathe. In fact, every single song sounds crafted to provide a journey and an insight; that nearly every one succeeds is a triumph. Spiritual Songs may be an emotionally tiring listen, but in 2016, it's unrivaled in conviction and sonic release. (www.luh.international)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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