Come May 4th, Landshapes - previously known as Lulu And The Lampshade - will put their forthcoming album ‘Heyoon’ out on Bella Union. Following their debut album, ‘Rambutan’, the band seem to have moulded their sound into something uniquely theirs, while maintaining their sense of experimentation and borrowing from the mystical.
Spending time writing in a cottage in the woods of Cornwall in September 2014, Landshapes found themselves lost writing “something much darker and much more menacing than anything we’d written so far”, says vocalist Luisa Gerstein, also responsible for the ukulele. The band also includes Dan Blackett on drums, Heloise Tunstall-Behrens on bass and Jemma Freeman on guitar, while they all contribute to vocals. Now, for ‘Heyoon’... The first track on the album, “Stay”, comes alive with a pulsing bassline that reverberates with psychedelic poise, while Gerstein’s voice almost eerily echoes, as if from a distance. There’s something fixating about the juxtaposition between Luisa’s fragile vocal and the masculinity of the thumping bass. “Fire” is an casual track, laden with sensuality. Everything about the song is appealing; the easiness of the drums, the melody in Luisa’s voice and softness of the guitar. It’s easy to visualise the four of them writing this one lounging around. Who knows, it may even have been around a fire. Completely opposite from “Fire”, is “Ader”. You know the kind of song that makes you feel like running, just so you can feel the wind against your face? “Ader", is positively one of those tracks. Between the sway of the melody and the galloping drums, the tempo is so captivating that it would be hard to resist movement. “Rhino”s grungy intro immediately grabs the listener; right before its sucks you into a three minute daydream of sludge rock with Luisa's sweet voice adding an almost eerie touch to the song’s otherwise slow and heavy sound. The last track,“Solipsist” is an effective close to the album, as it starts off with an infectious drum beat before slowing things right down and then ending it with a electrifying grungy breakdown. A salute of sorts to the varying tempos, effects and influences in the ten tracks prior. ‘Heyoon’ is a unique experience that could perhaps best be described as the love child of Band of Skulls and The Doors, but with an extra bit of Landshapes magic thrown in for good measure. Words by Renette van der Merwe To find out more about Landshapes
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