"To the powers of old, to the powers that be. You have fucked up this world but you will not fuck with me." This is a line from Lost Under Heaven's debut record 'Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing' - created by partners Ellery James Roberts and Ebony Hoorn, it was an album crammed with a vast amount of ideas that, under normal circumstances, would collapse under its own ambition.
However throughout its wondrously crafted chaos, it was a record that acted as a beacon of light for those seeking solace in these ever diminishing times. It helped transcend LUH from a band to a community, something that can be felt from their live shows and through Roberts' and Hoorn's commitment to make the group a living and breathing entity.
Fast forward to 2019 - with the message of 'Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing' holding even more resonance than before - 'Love Hates What You Become' has the bold task of carrying on LUH's message.
Beginning with 'Come', which comes with its own VR music video, Roberts and Hoorn commence with a track that feels as you are being propelled to the future. The galvanic instrumentation goes from crashing guitars, euphoric trap-flavoured breakdowns to Roberts' signature vocals howling about the converging dichotomy; "Come form with me, transcend our duality".
Whilst 'Come' develops the LUH formula, tracks like 'Most High' see them testing new waters. A lavish synth soaked ballad that evokes the 'Disintegration' era of The Cure, 'Most High' has the duo laid bare for one of the most lyrically vulnerable moments on the LP.
'Love Hates What You Become' also sees Hoorn taking up vocal duties more regularly, with memorable results. The fierce and fuzzed-laden choruses of 'Bunny's Blues', a track that has Hoorn donning her patriarchal opposing alter-ego Bunny, acts as an early highlight, whilst the post-apocalyptic possibilities of 'Black Sun Rising' results in a occult and desolate track with the help of Hoorn's smoky vocals.
In turn this also largely benefits the record's duets, as now Roberts' and Hoorn's musical chemistry has never sounded better; the best example being the album title track. A beautiful and stripped back acoustic expression of struggle and infatuation, 'Love Hates What You Become' shows real artistic progression.
This progression can also be felt on the duo's conscious construction towards their song writing. Songs like 'The Breath Of Light' are strikingly poignant, whilst the twisted and claustrophobic 'Savage Messiah' chronicles the journey of a sanctimonious narcissist; in a cut that sounds like Nick Cave meets Swans. And as for 'Post Millennial Tension', a frustrated analysis of the impending future, its brusque lyrics cut through any suggestion of pretentiousness bullshit with complete sincerity and passion.
Closing on 'For The Wild', Lost Under Heaven rise and eclipse all that came before. Roberts' vocals soar over vast exquisite synths and shimmering guitars, as he screams into the great unknown. Colossal, stirring and with a great sense of purpose, 'For The Wild' might just be the best song Roberts and Hoorn have ever recorded.
A more concise LP that continues LUH's mythos, whilst also branching out sonically, 'Love Hates What You Become' reinforces their necessary purpose. Fearless, life-affirming and without compromise, Lost Under Heaven's future blues have the potential to be a soundtrack of a generation.
Words: Liam Egan
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