Fuse the most fragile and graceful end of the folk music spectrum to the most luminous properties of cinemscope rock, and you have the stunning debut album from Newcastle-based sextet Lanterns On The Lake. Following two rapturously received EPs, Gracious Tide, Take Me Home warrants the use of often over-played adjectives such as "celestial", "swooning" and "absolutely bloody gorgeous." For an album debut, that's something special, because most bands don't reach such an exalted plateau until they've had years to mature.
On that exalted plateau, Gracious Tide... uses a smorgasbord of instruments (guitars, violin, mandolin, piano, synths, glockenspiels, kalimba) to paint a variety of beautiful vistas. From the ambient 'Ships In The Rain' to the galloping "A Kingdom", there's a compelling drama to Lanterns On The Lake. Click on the soundcloud link below to listen to and/or download the track "You're Almost There"...
Given the emotional heft and melodic riches on show, it's no surprise that Lanterns On The Lake found their way to Bella Union records. There's an undeniable vein of sadness through this music - 'Ships In The Rain' was prompted by the story of a local fisherman who went missing at sea, while 'A Kingdom' was inspired by the book of letters sent home by WW2 soldiers - but there is just as much hope in tracks like 'Lungs Quicken' and 'Keep on Trying', where fear and insecurities are banished by self-belief. Mirroring the sentiment of the album title, tracks like 'I Love You, Sleepyhead' and 'Places We Call Home' draw on the comfort and security of friendship and memory.
"Gracious Tide, Take Me Home" is released 19th September on Bella Union records.