Monday 2 April 2012

Hung up on a dream: Lightships

Sometimes you get hung up on a detail.  From the first play of Lightships' debut lp "Electric Cables" (Geographic) I was floored by the passage about two minutes into "Photosynthesis" where Gerard Love sings "Waited so long, Drifted off in a dream".  He only sings those lines twice but from the first time on that first spin I was convinced that it was the single most beautiful piece of art I'd heard or seen in 2012 and I remain convinced of it.  The rest of the tune is wondrous, all optimistic melodica, stuttering drums and a backgrounded keyboard that makes you tingle in the same way that the Bobby Reed sample on Saint Etienne's "Spring" makes you tingle.  I would love to hear what that group's Wiggs & Stanley would come up with were they ever to remix it.  I suspect it would be sublime.  It's not hard to see why Geographic released "Electric Cables" in spring.  So many of its songs are concerned with blossoming whether it be of a romance or of things in nature.  The air of gentle transformation and quiet noticing is completely enchanting.  It feels like the lp was conceived over repeated walks along a canal or by a river.  There are so many sounds - pretty much all of Tom Crossley's pleasingly non-hippie flute work, for example, or the skipping guitar figure on recent single "Sweetness In Her Spark" - and lyrics - "Gentle one, this world is yours", "I don't plan to let you down", "I sense the magic in her" to quote but three - that are utterly disarming in their easy beauty.  Everything is in balance, too.  For instance. "Silver and Gold" features the record's only chunky fuzz-guitar wash so Love adopts a particularly tender falsetto and the equilibrium is restored.  There won't be many warmer, more consistent or more human records released in 2012.  Taken as a whole or as a collection of lots of exquisite details, it's a record that I know I'll need to return to a lot over the coming months.

(Monorail has signed copies!)      

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