Lost Horizons: Ojalá (Bella Union) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, April 22nd, 2024  

Issue #62 - Julien Baker


Bella Union

Nov 01, 2017 Issue #62 - Julien Baker Bookmark and Share

Fashioned out of a musical bond formed during the days when their bands shared the same eclectic label 4AD, Lost Horizons consists of Simon Raymonde (ex-bassist of Cocteau Twins) and Richie Thomas (ex-drummer of Dif Juz). Decades later Raymonde is directing his own label, Bella Union, which boasts such notable acts as Beach House, Dirty Three, Explosions in the Sky, and The Walkmen. Unfortunately, Bella Union is not as unfailing a label as 4AD once was and Ojalá proves the point.

Most tracks here are slow, bittersweet songs whose reserved tones sound more like indecipherable lullabies than any type of dream rock you might expect given the bandmates’ histories. Sculpted from a foundation of just piano and drums, some tracks never grow beyond that and others wallow in the vapors of ‘70s soft rock. Some bright instrumental flourishes are occasionally added in an attempt to give the songs some pulp but it’s nothing to get too excited about since they’re neither grabbing nor contagious and act more like threadbare window dressings to the mundane song structures and their gentle acoustics.

For better or worse, a collection of guest vocalists, both male and female, are used throughout, including an appearance by former Midlake vocalist Tim Smith. But this only serves to highlight the album’s inconsistencies.

Thankfully, the click of a mouse, a tap on a screen or a push of a button can bring you to the few exceptions that live up to the ethereal dream pop Lost Horizons are capable of. “Give Your Heart Away,” “Score the Sky,” and “The Engine” all employ airy electronics that give the songs a multi-layered and textural edge and feature atmospheric and lush vocals. But these vibrant tunes are too few and far between. (www.bellaunion.com/artists/lost-horizons/)

Author rating: 3/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 8/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Simon Thornhill
November 1st 2017

3/10 are you being serous?  That’s a joke right? 
Ojala is an exquisitely crafted collection of songs, that brings together a wonderfully diverse collective of artists. I have been listening to this album almost non stop for thee last 6ree months. I sim0y can’t recommend it highly enough. Might I recommend that your review rinse out their ears. And give thee album a proper listen, it’s utterly gorgeous. 10/10