Finding inspiration in your surroundings works best if your surroundings are actually some of the most naturally beautiful landscapes that the UK has to offer.
Finding their muse in the dramatic coastal scenes of the North East, The Lanterns On The Lake allowed these poetic, allusive landscapes to filter into their work.
Debut album 'Gracious Tide, Take Me Home' was a beautifully intricate work, melting together personal, philosophical lyrics with an orchestral flair. For the follow up, the band have continued to look around them - yet this time, the atmosphere is darker.
Written against a background of job cuts, protests and uncertainty, 'Until The Colours Run' is a fiercely defiant, impassioned attempt to mourn the loss of youthful innocence.
Out on October 7th, you can listen to the new album from Lanterns On The Lake first on Clash. To accompany the stream, lyricist Hazel Wilde has penned a short introduction and a full track-by-track guide...
"'Until The Colours Run' is anxious and introverted at times but at other times it’s bursting with life and feels confident and bold. It has colour in its veins and a dark heart beating at its core. It’s difficult to sum up each song in a series of short paragraphs but I‘ve done my very best to give a glimpse into each one…"
We felt this was a good way to open the album with that feedback leading in to the soaring guitars and accordion. We wanted it to be a contrast to the last record in how we opened this one. I love Andy’s bass line in those instrumental sections together with the drums – it’s like a fallen soldier dragging himself through the mud. This one was recorded as live as possible while we were all playing in this old school hall where we did most of the recording. I played Ol’s battered old upright piano on this too – it was perfect for this song, it needed to feel like a dishevelled tale from the past in those verses.
The Buffalo Days
I suppose this is quite a dark song; even from the opening line “when this started, I was living like an animal and I didn’t have a hope in hell” - that felt like an ugly lyric to use to open a song but I went with it because it was raw and it was honest. Then there’s that almost African guitar melody that leads us through the end section. This song has a feeling of a dark desperation about it whilst somehow also being colourful and bold.
The Ghost That Sleeps In Me
I think there was probably a lot of underlying worries amongst us about where things were going for us in the future while we were writing this record. For me, I feel like this song reflects some of those difficulties involved in being in a band in this day and age. It’s about that fading spirit inside you when you’ve been working towards something that you love for so long and you feel that you’re forgetting the reason why you started in the first place. For the most part it feels like a fairly fragile, introverted and intimate song and then there is the bursting of life in the music; guitars, drums, strings, brass. It crashes out of the darkness in a glorious, dramatic twist to the plot - the drunk and bitter divorcee at a party dancing in the middle of the room with their fist in the air. Actually, while we were recording that section we were in the hall, it was about 1am in the freezing cold winter so we made a load of mulled wine to keep ourselves warm – I think we were probably pretty drunk when we recorded that part.
Until The Colours Run
This song went through a few transformations while we were writing the album and demoing things as we went along. It was one of the first songs we had for this record. The second part of the song has a totally different feel to the first – Paul’s vocals have this real heart-breaking feel to them when they come in on this section.
Green & Gold
I recorded the piano and vocals at the same time just as a live take when I was in our rehearsal room on my own one day. I think on the track you can just about hear the cleaner in the building opening the back door when she went for a fag. I’d just finished writing this song and it felt important to capture the feeling of it while it was still fresh to me. We ended up just using this ‘demo’ as the album version because sometimes you don’t want to make things perfect – you just want to capture that moment. The piano is a beautiful old baby grand piano which we keep in our rehearsal room. This is quite a personal song and it still feels quite raw to me on the few times that I’ve played it live.
You Soon Learn
When I was a kid I used to pass this house on the way to school every day where this eccentric writer lived and on his roof he had affixed a huge cast iron sign that read ‘keep both feet firmly in the clouds’. This song could be the story of a couple of teenagers who have that desire to escape their hometown’s attitudes and make something of themselves, but ultimately they end up getting sucked in to everything they were against. I love the guitar sounds on this song – they’re kind of odd. The strings and drums make it almost feel like a celebration despite the dark content in the lyrics - I suppose that’s one of the many contradictions on this record.
You could say this was bonus of suffering from insomnia while we were working on the record. The words probably seem very vague to people but it’s really about the thoughts you have at 4am when you haven’t slept properly for days and you feel like you’ve barely got a grip on life. The crackles that make up the almost ‘beat’ of the song are actually Sarah’s log fire that Paul recorded one night and worked into the song to give it a subtle rhythm. He’s lucky he didn’t set fire to the microphone. The bowed guitar and plucked strings give it a real haunting quality.
Another Tale From Another English Town
This is a tale of frustration and disappointment, of austerity and of being sight and out of mind. We recorded the most part of this one in the hall playing live together. Sonically, I think the first half of the song captures that feeling of frustration and the second half captures that feeling of being down-trodden.
Our Cool Decay
I heard Paul playing this beautiful guitar part one day and recorded it on my phone so we didn’t forget it. I then came across it while we were working on the record so we decided to turn it into a song. I suppose this was an unusual choice to close the album but it seems to make sense to end it in this way. It takes a step back from what feels like quite an intense record and looks back down at it all from above.
'Until The Colours Run' is set to be released on October 7th.
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