The sounds and lyrics of Lanterns on the Lake’s second album Until the Colours Run are filled with images as potent as the band’s name. The act of floating a lantern on water is usually connected to mourning and the new LP certainly reflects that somber tone. “The Ghost That Sleeps In Me” embodies this melancholy incredibly well with Hazel Wilde’s haunting, ethereal vocals begging to know “Are we a dying breed? / The last of the real thing…”
While the disc has its starkly somber moments, life – according to the group – is not all bad. The lyrics are often offset by strikingly beautiful and bright musical arrangements. “The Ghost That Sleeps In Me” provides a noteworthy example of this idea, as Paul Gregory channels The Edge’s guitar wizardry into an uplifting, explosion of a solo. This interplay between beauty and melancholy finally reaches its pinnacle on the title track. Evoking a sound similar to U2 in the 1990s, Gregory weaves bright and biting guitar lines through the piano, strings, and drums, as Wilde channels Bono at his most uplifting moments. Wilde hits the core of the LP’s dichotomies as she exclaims “There is a corpse of a prince on the front line / Where the colours run where the colours bleed / So we’ll drink and we’ll sing on the bread line /Until the colours run until the colours bleed.” The maddeningly beautiful music supports the lyrics so that the song is propelled out of the stratosphere and into heavenly realms.
Wilde’s vocals are a point of great praise and disappointment throughout the LP. Her ethereal voice has the habit of either blending flawlessly with the musical landscape of the song, or floating far away from the base. On songs like the LP’s opener—and dud—“Elodie” Wilde’s voice soars much too high over the music and creates an unwelcome clash of dynamics. While the majority of tracks do not suffer from this, enough do to make a negative impact on the overall quality of the disc.
Lanterns On The Lake have a very good sense of their musical direction, and display excellent craftsmanship on spots throughout their second LP. Once they tighten their musical gaps, they will have the potential to make even more colorful music.
WGTBest Picks: “Until the Colours Run,” “You Soon Learn”
- Originally published on the Rotation, WGTB Georgetown Radio's Music Blog on 03/02/14