Happy Release Day Lost Horizons

The wait is over… Today Lost Horizons release their anticipated and acclaimed new album In Quiet Moments via Bella Union. To celebrate the release the band have shared a video for the closing track on the album, “This Is The Weather”, which features Karen Peris from the innocence mission on guest vocals. Of the track Karen Peris says: “It is a joy for me to be part of another Lost Horizons album. There was a beautiful spaciousness in the track of piano that I received from Simon, that allowed for hearing and seeing a melody and a scene, with a melancholy that connected immediately with the feeling of missing someone very dear to me.”

In further celebration of the album release Tim Burgess will be hosting one of his legendary Twitter Listening Parties for In Quiet Moments on 4th March while on the 5th March Lost Horizonswill participate in a Reddit AMA at /r/indieheads at 6pm GMT.

“Second album from super-duo contains multitudes… With the knowing retro-etherealism of Every Beat That Passed (featuring Swedish vocalist Kavi Kwai) or Cordelia’s new age tides controlled by John Grant, In Quiet Moments opens out its own space to wander, a many-moods piece for complicated times.” MOJO – 4 stars ****

“Lost Horizons return with a 16-song set that expands their palette considerably, including jazzier ventures with Ren Harvieu and soul singer Ural Thomas. Lest anyone forget about Raymonde’s past life as a Cocteau Twin, reverb-soaked collaborations with Kavi Kwai and KookiLou ensure there’s plenty of the old shimmer and spangle to savour, too.” Uncut – 7/10

“Lost Horizons triumph on second album In Quiet Moments… There’s some textbook ethereal elegance but also much restless energy and joy.” PROG

“Absolutely breathtaking… A masterpiece of concept, design and execution.” NARC – 5 Stars *****

“With experienced mood masters Raymonde and Thomas at the tiller In Quiet Moments is holistic audio balm to soothe, hug and give hope in these ‘unprecedented times’ and beyond.” Music OMH – 4 Stars ****

“An epic 16 track record of quite stunning beauty… A masterful sonic journey of discovery.” Contact Music – 5 Stars *****

Lost Horizons have announced news of a London live performance at the Scala in Autumn 2021… Date/info HERE.

Hilang Child remixed by Tusks

Following fine reviews for new album Every Mover, out now via Bella Union, Hilang Child has shared a hypnotic Tusks remix of earlier single and LP standout “Anthropic (Cold Times)”. Tusks is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist and producer Emily Underhill. Originating from electronic beginnings, Tusks weaves cinematic soundscapes with ethereal vocals and dark production to create her eclectic sound, which has seen her release two albums so far on One Little Independent Records (Bjork, Asgier), gain over 18 million streams and counting on Spotify and be championed by the likes of Lauren Laverne, Annie Mac, Rolling Stone, MixMag, DIY, MOJO, Wonderland and more.

Of the remix Ed Riman aka Hilang Child says: “Anthropic (Cold Times) was originally supposed to be an introspective yet optimistic ‘note-to-self’ rounding up the message of my new album. However, in the wake of the ‘new normal’ caused by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the heightened public consciousness of ongoing global fights for equality, 2020 has given the lyrics a completely different meaning to me, which I never foresaw. I see it now as a general statement of hope for a future in which we break through difficult times and find unity, making space to live in the moment, cherishing those we hold dear and loving ourselves and others for who we are. Prior to lockdown Tusks and I were booked to play a show together in London. In the lead up she produced this amazing remix bringing to mind night-time drives and sci-fi soundtracks. Although the show was cancelled we’re happy this track came from it.”

Tusks adds: “I loved reworking this track and heard the new bass line in my head as soon as I’d isolated Ed’s vocals. His harmonies are so beautiful, I wanted to highlight them and use them as the climactic point in the remix.”

“Hilang Child blends the blissed-out and the bittersweet on this follow-up to 2018’s Years… Rich and melodic, there are hints of MGMT in the upbeat ‘Good To Be Young’ and Sigur Ros in the looping, hymnal ‘Steppe’, yet his own voice remains a consistent throughout.” Electronic Sound

“A vast, almost swaggering, swathe of sound… Play Til Evening bustles with Polyphonic Spree-style uplift while Earthborne is balm for unsettled times.” MOJO

“With cool atmospherics and a clear knack for pop hooks, Ed Riman weaves his magic with a combination of emotional intensity and much needed positivity.. A reassuring soundtrack to our troubled times that summons beauty in the face of adversity.” The Sun

“Shimmeringly fuses anthemic, gospel-edged singing and surging instrumentation with a Philip Glass pulse and a trance-like throb.” The Arts Desk

“Sounds especially fresh while providing some much needed hope and optimism amid the ongoing sense of disillusionment… emotive and mountain-scaling” Music OMH

Will Stratton returns with ‘The Changing Wilderness’

Bella Union are thrilled to announce the return of Will Stratton whose new album The Changing Wilderness will be released 7th May and is available to pre-order here. Stratton has shared the first track titled “Tokens” along with an animated lyric video.

Of the track Stratton says: “Tokens is a song addressed to the fraternal twins, the most frequent subjects of songs since songs were created: time and love. The afternoon that I was writing it, the weird weather we were having that summer was on my mind. I was thinking about how my perception of time is so tied to my perception of the changing seasons, and consequently, how my perception of time hasn’t been quite as sharp as it once was. I was also thinking about the ending of one of my favourite movies, the 2014 Paul Thomas Anderson film Inherent Vice. The way time shimmers and shifts in that movie is fascinating to me, verging on hypnotic, and I was trying to evoke a little of that feeling in this song.”

Will Stratton’s rich catalogue is proof that the Hudson Valley folk musician thrives on exploration and reflection. Chart his trajectory over his previous six albums and you’ll find a songwriter not content to stay comfortable or do the same thing twice. From his 2007 debut What the Night Said, which he released aged 20, to 2014’s Gray Lodge Wisdom, a resilient and gorgeous LP which documented his bout with cancer, as well as 2017’s Rosewood Almanac, a de facto love-letter to song-writing, his guitar, and his favourite records, the subtle but sizable tweaks to his process, arranging, and writing have been revelations. “I’ve always tried to make the process of making music as much of a source of pleasure and exploration as possible,” says Stratton. So it’s no surprise that The Changing Wilderness, his resonant and clear-eyed seventh album, pushes him to expansive new heights again. 

The 10 tracks on the LP came about from an intense four-year period of soul-searching and change for Stratton, where he knew he needed to change the way he wrote songs. “I was just really sick of introspection,” he says. “I had to write music that felt like it was engaging with the outside world, rather than focusing on what was going on in my own life like on my earlier records.” With the 2016 election, Donald Trump’s Presidency, and rising right-wing extremism on his mind, Stratton set out to interrogate his country’s present crises. Like the best protest music, these songs aren’t didactic or preachy. Instead, they ask more questions than claim to have answers with Stratton’s lyrics taking a scalpel-like approach to the very worst of human nature. 

Take the single ‘Black Hole’ which navigates the human toll of fascism. Midway through the song, its pastoral arrangement briefly fades out, leaving Stratton’s voice central in the mix. He sings, “Hatred corrupts, and it purifies, too / It simplifies thoughts just like love can do / Oh, I miss when it was an optional vice / Something you’d choose when fear was the price.”

Elsewhere, songs like ‘Infertile Air’, bluntly and unflinchingly casts its focus on those who collaborate with the forces of state violence. Over a sparse, almost dirge-like instrumental, it opens with the incisive lines, “When you tore them from her breast / And you drove home in your car / Did you think you’d get to rest / Without denying who you are.” It’s not difficult to draw the connection to ICE and its violent family separation policy. “I was trying to imagine what it feels like to be somebody who is so sure of their own convictions when they’re a tool of the state,” explains Stratton. Another track, the bucolic and rollicking ‘Fate’s Ghost’, finds its depth in more opaque imagery but when Stratton sings, “Where are we going, I shout into the void / Do you feel powerless there, or is it beyond any word?” it’s totally resonant. 

Stratton engineered and mixed every song on The Changing Wilderness from his home studio in Beacon, NY, but he recruited a sizable ensemble of old friends and new collaborators to flesh out the arrangements, including vocalists Maia Friedman, Cassandra Jenkins, Katie Mullins, and Eamon Fogarty, as well as electric guitarist Ben Seretan, upright bassist Carmen Rothwell, saxophonist and clarinetist Justin Keller, and drummers Sean Mullins (Wilder Maker) and Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley). As a result the songs on the LP are immaculately constructed and produced, some evoking the lushest offerings from Sandy Denny and Richard Thompson while others take on the intimacy of artists like Ted Lucas and Joni Mitchell. Stratton’s keen ear for songs that have no expiration date both sonically and thematically is obvious throughout the track-list. Lead single ‘Tokens’ is ornate and unhurriedly unfolds with some of Stratton’s most evocative lyrics yet by personifying two of the most commonly sung themes in popular music. He sings, “Time, who knows what leads to the fall / Will you end in a crowd, or end all alone?” and “Love, the ways that we change over time / Don’t alter the rules or reset the game.” 
Though Stratton initially sought out to avoid personal song-writing on this LP, his arbitrary rules became untenable as he got deeper into the writing process. “Over the past four years as the world around us got progressively more screwed up, it became impossible for me to write something that wasn’t somewhat introspective,” he says. The Changing Wilderness operates in dichotomies: darkness vs. light and processing your own personal struggles through the vast and seemingly insurmountable problems the world is facing. On “When I’ve Been Born (I’ll Love You),” Stratton sings, “The present is prosaic, the future a disgrace” but it’s not out of bleak resignation. There’s hope at the core of the song and the album as a whole. He sings, “As the oceans rise, I’ll love you / When the air gets thin, I’ll love you / If the fascists win, I’ll love you.”

Mountain Man cover Fiona Apple

Mountain Man—the trio of Amelia Meath, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, and Molly Sarlé—releases Mountain Man Sings Fiona Apple, featuring its version of “Hot Knife,” from Apple’s 2012 album, The Idler Wheel…, today February 17th, 2021.

The song is the latest release in Mountain Man’s series of cover singles, which also includes the band’s versions of the English folk song “Greensleeves,” Neil Young’s “Through My Sails,” the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Slow Burn,” Wilco’s “You and I,” John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” and the Irving Berlin holiday classic “White Christmas.” 

Of today’s release, the band says: “If we followed Questlove’s advice and made gratitude lists before we went to bed every night, Fiona Apple would be at the top every time. She tells the truth like no one else does. Thank you Fiona Apple. We love you.”

The cover has become a fan-favourite staple of the band’s live set, with Glide Magazine describing a 2018 performance of it in Brooklyn as “three voices colliding and weaving like a sensual fever dream.”

Mountain Man’s last album, Magic Ship, was released in 2018 to critical acclaim. Following their beloved 2010 debut, Made the Harbor, the three musicians went in different directions for several years before they all ended up in North Carolina, spending time together as old friends, and finally reuniting as a band, and recording Magic Ship at Meath’s home studio in Durham. The group toured the US afterward, including a stop in Washington, DC, and a visit to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series; watch that performance here.

In addition to Meath’s Grammy-nominated work with Sylvan Esso, Sauser-Monnig and Sarlé have recorded their own critically-acclaimed solo projects. Sauser-Monnig released Dawnbreaker, her debut album under the moniker Daughter of Swords, via Bella Union in 2019.

“Molly Sarlé, Amelia Meath and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig have perfected a bare, unadulterated sound composed of little more than three-part vocal harmonies.”—NPR

“Mountain Man’s radiant harmonies are as pretty as they come …. Quiet may seem like an outlier in this noisy present, but Mountain Man understands its power.” —Pitchfork

Liela Moss announces remix album

Following on from her acclaimed second solo album “Who The Power”, released last August, Liela Moss today announces Who The Power (Reformed). Released 26th March via Bella Union, the album is a full remix version of “Who The Power” by some of Liela’s close friends, collaborators, and artists she admires. To mark the announcement Moss has shared two tracks from the album. James Lavelle’s UNKLE place ‘Atoms At Me’ firmly in the club whilst Berlin-based electronic artist Emika takes “White Feather” into a minimalist arena, conjuring up Steve Reich and Max Richter.

Other remixers involved include Jehnny Beth collaborator and producer Johnny Hostile who gives ‘The Individual’ a brooding building cinematic twist while The Horrors’ Tom Furse takes ‘Battlefield’ into spinning electronic undercurrents. Dhani Harrison throws fuzz and glitch at ‘Suako’ and Moss’s producer Toby Butler rebuilds ‘Watching The Wolf’ with dark menace under his IYEARA moniker.  Bella Union’s own Simon Raymonde gives album closer ‘Stolen Careful’ a complete country soul-overhaul, conversely taking the electronic out, and putting the band back in with his Lost Horizons project.

Other remixes include Berlin’s Future Beat Alliance taking on album opener ‘Turn Your Back Around’ with hypnotic beats, producer Verlos giving ‘Always Sliding’ a minimalist electronic wooze, and Bella Union label mates Penelope Isles throwing lo-fi drums and fuzz at ‘Nummah.’

Of the album Liela Moss says: “The process of connecting with other artists who are my friends, or people whose work I admire, during a time of physical and creative restriction was massively energising, and a privilege that I think could only have happened because of the insane reality that was occurring, that musicians were at home with nowhere to tour. With UNKLE, I had been missing their live shows so much and wanted to feel connected to the tribe. Calling James and reminiscing about the last tour we’d done across thousands of miles in Russia, I just wanted him to take my track and alter its personality, reorganise it so it would be a grand, danceable soundtrack to some of his mad live visuals. In the case of Emika, it was she who found me, really. A friend of hers kept encouraging both of us to work together. We had been yearning for the spirit of collaboration to materialise during the pandemic, and we were drawn towards each other’s work to exchange what we had to give. She is classically trained, digitally skilled to the max, insanely talented… I sang on some of her new material and she remixed my track. A total privilege.”

Lost Horizons share ‘Heart Of A Hummingbird’

With their new album In Quiet Moments due for release next Friday, 26th February, via Bella Union, today Lost Horizons share another new track and video from this much-anticipated double LP. Every track on the album features a guest vocalist and today’s new single “Heart Of A Hummingbird” features KookieLou aka Lily Wolter from Penelope Isles.

Of the track Lost Horizons say: “In 2018 we toured the UK with Penelope Isles opening up for us every night, and it was one of the most brilliant times I’ve had on tour. It reminded me of the Cocteau Twins / Dif Juz tour of 1984. The friendships spawned and the love and respect that our bands showed to each other throughout was really special. There were 7 of us in the Lost Horizons live band and every one of us watched Penelope Isles each night, usually in awe. They did the same with us (probably without the in awe part) and to have such a brilliant support pushes you each night, in the best possible way. I knew from watching Jack (who sings on the first track on the lp ‘Halcyon’) and Lily so closely for so long, that I couldn’t think of two better people to be on this Lost Horizons lp. They were the first people I asked. Lily is a brilliant songwriter and I knew she would be a perfect collaborator for us! She seemed to have her ideas done so quickly after I sent her the music, and Jack recorded her soon after in our studio in Brighton, and I clearly remember opening the email when they sent the track to me, I literally blasted it in my studio so loud about 25 times and was in tears hearing what she’d done. I am very excited by what I am hearing of her KookieLou solo project. After I had written and recorded the basic tune with all the keys, basses and Richie had added the live drums, Paul Gregory  (Lanterns On The Lake) added the glorious spacey guitars that take the track to its crescendo.”

KookieLou adds: It was a real honour to be asked to collaborate with these two legends. I have a lot of love for both Simon and Richie. I wrote these words in a pretty testing time. Loving someone is a real trip isn’t it?  The meanings of the lyrics twist and turn between uncertainty and really just not wanting to let go of someone. When those beautiful new chords come in just after halfway through the song, I felt a release. I think that’s where the words travel from a place of confusion and heartache, to a place of pure honesty, acceptance and love. I want to thank Simon and Richie for making that happen at that point, encouraging me to see the glass half full at a time where it felt pretty empty.”

Early praise for In Quiet Moments

“Second album from super-duo contains multitudes… With the knowing retro-etherealism of Every Beat That Passed (featuring Swedish vocalist Kavi Kwai) or Cordelia’s new age tides controlled by John Grant, In Quiet Moments opens out its own space to wander, a many-moods piece for complicated times.” MOJO – 4 stars ****

“Lost Horizons triumph on second album In Quiet Moments… There’s some textbook ethereal elegance but also much restless energy and joy.” PROG
“Grand music, lushly orchestrated and beautifully arranged… a terrific sounding album and above all else a wonderful spotlight on amazing voices.” Brooklyn Vegan

“In Quiet Moments is a well-crafted set of lush, cinematic pop and rock with lyrics revolving around death and rebirth” KEXP