Until-The-Colours-Run_Lanterns-On-The-LakeLanterns On The Lake is a five-piece band hailing from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Consisting of Hazel Wilde, Paul Gregory, Ol Ketteringham, Sarah Kemp and Andrew Scrogham, they have had a successful debut album and are now signed to Bella Union. They have performed at numerous music festivals, including Glastonbury, SXSW and Bestival and even toured with Explosions in the Sky as its supporting act in 2012.

Until The Colours Run is the latest delivery from Lanterns On The Lake since their debut in 2011. The album was recorded against a backdrop of financial and personal adversity – a major change within the band occurred when two members decided to leave – all of which certainly influences the music and its lyrics. In spite of all that, Lanterns On The Lake has stayed afloat (pun intended), and this album is quite a gem.

The band plays a lovely blend of dreamy indie rock that is both symphonic and melodious. As adroit multi-instrumentalists, and due to the range of effects used, the songs are deliciously packed with layers of sound and guided by ethereal vocals.

All in all, there are nine songs in Until The Colours Run and I have plenty of personal favourites. Some of them include ‘The Buffalo Days’, that starts off with the line, “I didn’t have a hope in hell”. The song beautifully employs snare drums and violin, making those particular parts highlights for me. ‘The Ghost That Sleeps In Me’ is another song that continues to carry the dark undertones of the album. The combination of the bass, cello and electric guitar allows the band to control the tempo at will. The result is that the music seems to pull, push, ebb and flow all in the space of less than five minutes.

But the entire album isn’t all gloom and doom. As befitting its title, ‘Until The Colours Run’ is hopeful, upbeat and radiant, beginning with an optimistic burst of multiple, complementing instruments. Towards the end, the vocals give way to the music, giving the song a vast and atmospheric quality. Another delight is ‘Green And Gold’. The song finds its weight in the piano melody that runs throughout, whereas its strength is found in the lyrics, “This was the part where you picked up and started again”. Finally, the first single, ‘Another Tale From Another English Town’, is the encapsulation of the album. It opens with a guitar-driven tune that remains impressed upon my mind when I think of Lanterns On The Lake.

In my opinion, what distinguishes a great album from a good album is this: the more you listen to it, the more you like it, because you’re hearing new things each time you listen to a song. You pick up different layers or parts that you never realised were there. You get acquainted with each song. At first they were all unfamiliar to you, but as you listen again and again, they begin to take on their own identity, and you start to see the album as a whole.

Lanterns On The Lake has created a heavy album that does just that. It requires a little effort on the part of the listener to pay attention to the lyrics, but overall it’s a relatively easy listen. The album successfully addresses the setting it was recorded against, and it also conveys the band’s acceptance and realisation that there is nothing left to lose. As Wilde puts it, the album covers a journey of “hope, despair, love and desperate times”.


Release Date 09/09/2013 (Bella Union)

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Amanda Hoi

Amanda is in a committed, lifelong relationship with indie electronic music. Plays the cello and guitar, and plans to sing once she's mustered enough courage. She's a Malaysian who's found her home in Manchester. Currently reading law at the University of Manchester.