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Lanterns On The Lake Announce New Album “Versions Of Us” out 2nd June via Bella Union & Share First Single “The Likes Of Us” + Autumn UK Tour

February 28, 2023
(photo credit: Rob Irish)

Lanterns On The Lake Announce New Album “Versions Of Us” out 2nd June via Bella Union & Share First Single “The Likes Of Us”

+ Autumn UK Tour

Lanterns On The Lake today announce news of their anticipated new album, Versions Of Us, out 2nd June via Bella Union and available to preorder here. This self-produced fifth studio LP follows 2020’s Mercury-nominated Spook the Herd, with Radiohead’s Philip Selway joining the band on drums and percussion throughout the album. To accompany the announcement Lanterns On The Lake have shared a visualizer for first single and album opener “The Likes Of Us”.

Additionally, the band have announced an extensive UK tour in late 2023 which includes a performance at London’s Islington Assembly Hall, the dates of which are listed below.

The nine songs of Versions Of Us are existential meditations examining life’s possibilities; facing the hand we’ve been dealt and the question of whether we can change our individual and collective destinies. Singer and songwriter Hazel Wilde has no doubt that motherhood fundamentally shifted her perspective. “Writing songs requires a certain level of self-indulgence, and songwriters can be prone to dwelling on themselves,” she says. “Motherhood made me aware of having a different stake in the world. I’ve got to believe that there’s a better way and an alternative future to the one we’ve been hurtling towards. I’ve also got to believe that I could be better as a person, too.”

Mixed by the band’s guitarist Paul Gregory, in the bedroom of his home in North Shields, there is a sense of time and place that runs deep throughout this record.

Opener and lead single “The Likes of Us” documents the state of things (“Oblivion howls for these gutted streets / Boarded shops cower in defeat”) but sublimates observations into a mantra of resolve (“I won’t let this spark die in me”). It heralds Versions of Us as the band’s most cohesive and concise record yet, with its pervading sense of empowerment encapsulated in Wilde’s startling vocal performances. Her voice soars with previously unheard force on an album austere in its beauty, with its shifting sands of searing guitar, fluttering vintage synths and swarming melodic lines, topped with glistening strings from Angela Chan.

This bright, striking single release showcases the immense power of this outfit. The beauty found in the textures, the tonality, the consistent shuffles, and the dazzling vocal harmonies, this track will consume you. This emotionally charged exploration will move the audience and alter their mood by providing this explosive creation that exudes such a journey from start to finish. The arrangement focuses on this intensity, latently ferocious, building up to the elevated strings that surge through the mighty landscape and play out the last of the high peak. Each musician waiting for the perfect moment to emerge, to shine. A triumphant return.

Given some of its themes, a biting irony is found in an entire previous version of the record being discarded. Mental health struggles and personal problems in the band had a big impact on how the initial version took shape. “Despite trying everything we could to make it work we reached the point where we just had to stop” Wilde explains. Drummer Ol Ketteringham parted ways with the band, something Wilde says was “heartbreakingly difficult as we were and still are extremely close”. The band scrapped nearly a year’s worth of work, regressing to song demos with just Wilde performing with a single instrument as they began again with Radiohead’s Philip Selway joining the album sessions on drums and percussion.

“Philip brought an energy to the songs that reignited our belief in them,” says Wilde. A bravura drumming performance informs the majestic future single “String Theory”, as Selway adds multiple rhythmic elements, driving in lock-step with the band on a song that finds solace in the multiverse theory. “Within a few weeks we had a whole other version of the album and things felt very different,” Wilde continues. “We had changed the destiny of the record.”

Despite the difficulties in its genesis, Versions of Us is the most empowering album yet from the band. In exploring whether we can change fate or are doomed to repeat the same mistakes in life, this powerful collection of songs ultimately alights on hope. As closer “Last Transmission” fractures and falls apart over its final two minutes – its wreckage gracefully burning up in the atmosphere – its narrator finds that, “in the last gasp of this old world / You know I think I found the beauty and the good”. It’s also never too late to change course.

Lanterns On The Lake have announced news of an extensive UK tour in late 2023 to support the release. The band will also be performing at the Bearded Theory festival in Derbyshire in late May:

Lanterns On The Lake UK tour:

7th November – Birmingham – The Hare & Hounds

8th November – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms

16th November – Cambridge – Storey’s Field Centre

17th November – Leeds – Howard Assembly Room

22nd November – Sheffield – Crookes Social Club

23rd November – Glasgow – St. Luke’s

29th November – Brighton – Concorde 2

30th November – London – Islington Assembly Hall

5th December – Manchester – Band on the Wall

6th December – Bristol – The Fleece

15th December – Gateshead – The Sage

1. The Likes Of Us

2. Real Life

3. Vatican

4. String Theory

5. Thumb Of War

6. The Saboteur

7. Locust

8. Rich Girls

9. Last Transmission

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