Album Review: Lanterns on the Lake – Until the Colours Run

Lanterns_On_The_Lake_Until_The_Colours_RunLanterns on the Lake released their sophomore album in The States, Until the Colours Run at the start of this year. Preceding their current release was the debut album, Gracious Tide, Take Me Home dropping two years prior in 2011. Until the Colours Run continues their exploration of blending the haunting vocals of Hazel Wilde with the intermittent explosive sounds of electronica and orchestral melodies. The album finds its strength from the ground up as it resonates the sounds of struggle and hardship. Monetary concerns for production and the recent departure of band members Adam and Brenden Sykes from the original lineup are undoubtedly two of the inspirational cofactors that enable this melancholy, indie-pop group to run in the same concentric circles as Wye Oak and M83.

The majority of the tracks deliver just the right amount of dream pop, demanding the audience to unconsciously keep a heel-tap or a head-nod to the beat. This is most notably heard in the songs The Buffalo Days, Until the Colours Run, and Another Tale From Another English Town, all of which are evenly dispersed amongst the track list. The politically inspired lyrics of each song paint a dismal picture, yet the combination of electric and orchestral melodies make for a bright and colorful sound.

Upon reaching the halfway point of the album, you’re exposed to the most intimate and raw track, Green and Gold. With only the piano to accompany her, Wilde croons a fragile melody that resonates a powerful message of a love lost. If you listen closely, the minor imperfections of lip-smacking, piano-bench creaking and other undeterminable back ground noises can be heard. It does well on this track to help heighten the personal flair Wilde is very clearly trying to bare.

Until the Colours Run is a more developed and focused extension of Gracious Tide, Take Me Home. Wilde takes full reign over the vocals as opposed to the debut release in which she shared the microphone with her male bandmates. I’m easily disenchanted with a female only vocal lineup, but Wilde’s autonomous delivery helps to create the successful fusion between her simple breathy vocals and the more complicated atmospheric instrumentals.

The album plays cohesively from beginning to end as it merges the complementary sounds of classical and modern techniques. The track arrangement is purposeful, and I would suggest listening to the album in sequential order. Each song takes a slightly different lyrical and instrumental approach whilst staying within the boundaries of its vintage-modern sound. Admittedly, I enjoyed the more upbeat and complex rhythms the album had to offer. All being said, Lanterns on the Lake was able to create a more mature album by concentrating on a simplistic approach to vocals finding success in the “less is more” factor. The band will begin to tour the North East US and Canada late January into February with upcoming tour dates to come.

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