Tuesday 21 November 2017

lanterns on the lake light up the tide of new folk

The past couple of years have seen a resurgence of music from the more reflective end of the spectrum, with 'folk' no longer a dirty word. Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists and Grizzly Bear have all made memorable records while, on this side of the Atlantic, we've seen the rise of the Unthanks, a traditional outfit who've brought a modern feel to songs some of which are more than 200 years old.


And now we have Newcastle-based sextet Lanterns on the Lake. Structured around the haunting vocals of Hazel Wilde, LOTL's songs have an eternal feel about them, sounding ancient while the soundscapes conjured by her bandmates suggest thoroughly musicians.

After two acclaimed EPs, LOTL eventually found a home on the Bella Union label -- with label founder and former Cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde, a man who'd know a thing or two when it comes to ethereal, swirling melodies -- and the self-produced debut album Gracious Tide, Take Me Home is an understated gem. With echoes of the sea and loss it takes the kind of subject matter which the Unthanks have thrived on and adds a contemporary spin.

As Hazel Wilde explains: "The songs are memories of growing up on the coast in the North-East. The feeling of homesickness when I lived away from there, the stories of people around us and of the sea." >George Byrne

Lanterns on the Lake play the Workman's Club tonight

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