Lanterns on the Lake
Until the Colours Run
Bella Union/[PIAS] America
Jan 22, 2014 Web Exclusive
Bella Union, the record label on which Lanterns on the Lake's sophomore album Until the Colours Run is released, is run by Simon Raymonde, formerly of dreampop pioneers Cocteau Twins. This is telling, because the band's sound has always not so much borrowed from the Scottish trio as dressed in woollen knitwear and gone to a fancy dress party as it.
In a sense this feels unfair on Lanterns on the Lake. After all, this is a strong, at times even sublime album and only its early release date in the U.S. is likely to count against it in many months' time when we all begin totting up our end-of-year lists. It's a woozy slice of reverb-soaked, light drone-backed dreampop...but then what isn't these days?
The album's highlight is comfortably "The Buffalo Days" with oh-so-delicate vocals with the whiff of a pack of cigarettes backed by a woozily jumping pop line. Elsewhere, the title track is a veritable explosion in the sky, all shimmering and euphoric, but even these best tracks sound a lot like a hundred other contemporary bands.
In a way, what seems like jaded cynicism about the album is actually a pleased nod to the good health of today's indie music scene, a small sign indicating how high the water level has risen. If we wanted to be pithy, this review could read, "You know that Villagers album from last year? This is that but with the voice of a three-year-old girl," and somehow we'd mean it as a compliment. (www.lanternsonthelake.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 9/10