Returning after the stomping success of their self-titled debut ‘LUMP’ Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay make a well-anticipated return with off-kilter ‘Animal’.
Released via Partisan Records, LUMP have progressed their infatuation for contemporary minimalism with the help of Marling’s angelic harmonies and Lindsay’s crafty producing skills. Continuing to explore the unknown as they bring to life their LUMP character in the music video of ‘Gemma Ray’ - and welcoming a new inflatable figure in ‘Animal’ - this new record is a further glimpse into what the two have to offer.
Opening with soothing, ‘Bloom At Night,’ this track blissfully reminds you of the atmospheric energy we’ve all missed from LUMP. Four years since their debut, LUMP re-group in Lindsay’s home studio for the recording of this project, taking note from his new surroundings after moving house. Notably feeling the pressure of crafting an album that would match the effortlessly angelic tones of their first, LUMP have made quite the return with ‘Animal’.
Just when you think their aesthetic or vision couldn’t be any cooler, may I present to you, ‘Gamma Ray.’ The third track on this LP; hypnotising you with subtle chimes, sturdy drum percussions and warped harmonies, as you work your way across this track Marling’s vocals linger and become more and more mechanic. Pair this daunting journey amongst the music video and suddenly you have something so quintessentially LUMP it’s unreal.
Third track and album title, ‘Animal,’ is the debut single release and was launched with a minimalistic music video. Bringing to life their unusual shapes, and contemporary motions, LUMP welcome a new transparent figure in this music video. As Marling harmonises the chorus, you soon notice a familiar tone; the same coo’s she applies in 2018 single, ‘Late To The Flight’. The tranquil chimes, and all-around nonchalant tone of this album feels like the group have done a full turn, returning to their roots whilst experimenting with something new.
Electronic and slightly daunting is album standout ‘Paradise’ ironically titled with immediate connotations of happiness, escapism and sun; indeed, it's conflicted heavily with monotone instrumentation and Marling’s dragging vocal delivery.
Across the album, LUMP have further exaggerated the bespoke talents of both Marling and Lindsay. Three tracks longer than their debut, in ‘Animal’ we see LUMP explore more vocally driven tracks, and watch them harness ambience as one of their most important themes. Concluding with ‘Phantom Limb,’ you see Laura once again giving credit to all of those that helped shape this beautiful LP together. A theme we hope to see across the foreseeable LUMP albums.
Talking about the LP Lindsay exclaims, “through LUMP we find our inner animal and through that animal we travel into a parallel universe”. In a lot of ways, being able to experience a LUMP project feels like you’re entering an intergalactic space, where everything feels surreal, yet possible. Whilst the effect LUMP undeniably has on us all, there’s just one small thing. Across ‘Animal,’ something seems to be missing, as a whole it’s great, but parts don’t quite seem to grasp the same excitement their self-titled debut did. It goes without saying LUMP’s work is a foundation of ever-changing possibilities that will always remain a loveable wonder within the music industry - no one else does it quite like them.
Words: Laviea Thomas
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