|Lost Horizons — Ojalá / Brighton (Nov 2017 / Jan 2018)|
Lost Horizons — Ojalá / Brighton (Nov 2017, Jan 2018)•• The Lost Horizons setlist tonight was: ‘I Saw The Days Go By’, ‘Give Your Heart Away’, ‘The Places We’ve Been’, ‘Amber Sky’, ‘Asphyxia’, ‘Score The Sky’, ‘Reckless’, ‘The Engine’, ‘Life Inside A Paradox’, ‘Bones’ (encore) ‘She Led Me Away’.
Location: Brighton, England, UK
Album release: January 2018
Record Label: Bella Union
Duration: 16:39 + 70:00
01. I Saw The Days Go By (Alternative Version) 4:41
02. On The Day You Died 5:03
03. Phantom Limbs 4:16
04. There Goes My Fantasy 2:39
Lost Horizons — Ojalá (Nov. 2017)
01. Bones 4:36
02. The Places We’ve Been 4:10
03. Amber Sky 4:12
04. Asphyxia 5:09
05. Reckless 4:39
06. She Led Me Away 4:55
07. Frenzy, Fear 4:21
08. The Tide 4:22
09. I Saw the Days Go By 5:03
10. Give Your Heart Away 5:06
11. Score the Sky 3:38
12. Life Inside a Paradox 3:33
13. The Engine 7:39
14. Winter’s Approaching 4:39
15. Stampede 3:59
Edwin Gilson, 17th November 2017
•• Simon Raymonde: I never thought I’d be in a band I felt as strongly about as Cocteau Twins.
•• Former Cocteau Twins member and Bella Union founder Simon Raymonde tells EDWIN GILSON about his new musical venture
•• HE MIGHT have been in one of the most influential British guitar bands ever but Simon Raymonde is occasionally plagued by the same self~doubt as the rest of us.
•• “Music plays with your head,” says the Brighton~based artist. “One half of your mind says ‘that’s absolute genious’ and the other half says it’s rubbish”. It’s no surprise that Raymonde has been contemplating this psychological tug~of~war recently. After all, he’s back in the game.
•• It’s 20 years since the split of Cocteau Twins, the band he was in with Elizabeth Fraser (she of the non~verbal lyrics and hugely expressive voice) and Robin Guthrie (whose shimmering guitar lines were just as distinctive). The break~up has had a profound emotional impact on Raymonde but more on that later.
•• Having managed Bella Union — home to songwriting superstar Father John Misty, one of Raymonde’s “best mates” — for all of that time, he has teamed up with old collaborator and friend Richie Thomas to form Lost Horizons. The band’s debut album Ojala, released a few weeks ago, has an impressive emotional sweep, encompassing dreamy ambience, melodic melancholy and slow-building euphoria.
•• It features guest vocalists such as Marissa Nadler and Midlake’s Tim Smith whose contributions are adapted in LH’s live show by a cast of talented local musicians. One of which, Helen Ganya Brown, is also supporting Lost Horizons’ Brighton gig with her Dog in the Snow project. Ojala all came from Raymonde merely deciding to take a few days off work and head into the studio — “I said I wouldn’t read my mail or pick up the phone”.
•• He adds: “It felt absolutely amazing because we had both been starved of musical interaction. We didn’t set the bar high, or at all really.” The way in which Raymonde has always written is completely instinctive and ‘in the moment’. “I’ve always loved the uncertainty of not knowing what it’s going to be,” he says, “and you have to accept that it might be total rubbish.”
•• But Raymonde had faith in the work and, before long, the vague blueprint for Ojala became vivid in his mind. “It was cloudy and muddled to start with but as we went on the clouds parted and we had more clarity.” Brighton was integral to the relighting of Raymonde’s creative fires. He moved to the Brunswick area of Hove after an unhappy spell in an over~expensive flat in Hackney and soon set up a studio underneath the Salvage cafe in Western Road.
•• “I know this is a Brighton paper and I probably would say nice things about Brighton, but genuinely I’ve never been as content anywhere as I am down here,” says Raymonde, who has since moved to Saltdean with his wife Abbey. Before now, the traumatic dissolution of Cocteau Twins was “buried deep” within him. For a long time, he says, he couldn’t see the point of being in another band because the singer would “never be as good as Liz [Fraser]”.
•• “When you’ve been in a band like that people always come up and ask, ‘what are you doing now? have you got a new band on the go?’ But I didn’t feel like I would be in any group that I felt as strongly about [as Cocteau Twins].” Raymonde points out that none of the band’s members have been particularly productive in music thereafter. “We’ve all struggled.” Eventually, though, he realised the band did not have to “define” his life.
•• It seems that Raymonde now has the best of both; the experience and expertise of having played in a seminal band and, finally, the liberation to push forward with his own project.
•• “This is what I do — I’m not going to stop doing it for anybody,” he says. “This is who I am.” •• http://www.theargus.co.uk/
•• Debut Brighton show of Lost Horizons (new band formed by Cocteau Twins’ and Bella Union label boss Simon Raymonde and Richie Thomas, formerly of 4AD originals Dif Juz).
•• Currently celebrating 20 years piloting the revered record label Bella Union, Simon Raymonde has scaled another personal peak, a new collaboration with drummer Richie Thomas. They’re called Lost Horizons, and though neither of them have strictly been lost, their stunning debut album, Ojalá, is a rare sighting of two gifted musicians who, for different reasons, have been largely absent from music~making for the last 20 years. Yet the record is proof of a telepathic relationship through music, established when the pair first became collaborators and friends in the eighties.
•• Ojalá incorporates a heady cast of guest singers. Some are signed to Bella Union, such as Marissa Nadler, former Midlake frontman Tim Smith, Cameron Neal (Horse Thief), others are long~time favourites of Raymonde’s (Leila Moss of The Duke Spirit and Ghostpoet), or newer discoveries (Beth Cannon, Ed Riman, Gemma Dunleavy and Phil McDonnell). And then there is the incomparable Karen Peris of The Innocence Mission, one of Raymonde’s most beloved artists, in her first collaboration outside of The Innocent Mission and solo recordings.
•• Together, the Lost Horizons ensemble has created an hour of exquisite, expansive and diverse spellcasting, from facets of soul, to dreamier invocations like ‘She Led Me Away’ and Ojalá’s lengthiest trip, ‘The Engine’. There’s the odd louder, faster detour, like ‘Life Inside A Paradox’, but the dominant mood is a deep, rich melancholia.
Review: Lost Horizons, Rialto Theatre, Brighton, November 18 ★★★★
Edwin Gilson, 21st November 2017
•• MIDWAY through Lost Horizons’ sold~out debut Brighton gig, the band’s co~founder Simon Raymonde gave a hearty thanks to his adopted hometown.
•• Raymonde has an illustrious history in music, having been part of seminal alternative band Cocteau Twins before establishing the cherished indie label Bella Union. But it was a move to Brighton that got his creative juices flowing again as he and longtime collaborator Richie Thomas began to sculpt Lost Horizon’s atmospheric debut album Ojala.
•• The record features 15 vocalists and, as Raymonde joked at one point during this gig, it had initially seemed a tall order to replicate that diversity in a live show. He needn’t have worried, however, as his assembled team of session musicians appear to have slotted seamlessly into the Lost Horizons’ dynamic while bringing their own unique spark to the set.
•• Beth Cannon, for instance, is a towering frontwoman, able to shift effortlessly between the tender delivery of The Places We’ve Been (featuring lush, delicate guitar work from Raymonde) and the impassioned fever pitch of Bones, in which she pushed her larynx to its considerable limit.
•• She dovetailed well with the energetic Ed Riman, who took over lead vocals for Reckless, a highlight of the set. The song’s brooding spoken~word monologue and gentle piano gave way to a single line which Riman repeated with increasing intensity: “I’m living in a reckless kind of way/and I can’t breathe to make sense of it.”
•• To an extent, Lost Horizons’ lyrical themes are characterised by the kind of melancholy evident in that track, although this is often contrasted with slow~building euphoria or, at the very least, hope. Witness set~opener I Saw the Days Go By, for instance, given new life in this set by Helen Ganya Brown (who also supported with her brilliant project Dog in the Snow).
•• Although the song could be said to possess a rather mournful quality, it’s most affecting line — “Watch the weather fade away from California” — was nothing less than uplifting in its melodic beauty.
•• While Raymonde had expressed gratitude towards Brighton and its people earlier in the night, the reverse was very much true as Lost Horizons left the stage to wild applause and calls for an encore. •• http://www.theargus.co.uk/
By : MJF
Press: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Management: Abbey Raymonde (firstname.lastname@example.org)
booking agents: Clementine Bunel and Cecile Communal at ATC Live
♣••♣ Currently celebrating 20 years piloting his revered record label Bella Union, Simon Raymonde has scaled another personal peak, a new collaboration with drummer Richie Thomas. They’re called Lost Horizons, and their stunning debut album, Ojalá, released 3rd November on Bella Union, is a rare sighting of two gifted musicians who, for different reasons, have been largely absent from music~making for the last 20 years. Yet the record is proof of a telepathic relationship through music, established when the pair first became collaborators and friends in the eighties.
♣••♣ Ojalá also incorporates a heady cast of guest singers. Some are signed to Bella Union, such as Marissa Nadler, former Midlake frontman Tim Smith, Cameron Neal (Horse Thief), others are long~time favourites of Raymonde’s (Liela Moss of The Duke Spirit and Ghostpoet), or newer discoveries (Beth Cannon, Hilang Child, Gemma Dunleavy and Phil McDonnell). And then there is the incomparable Karen Peris of The Innocence Mission, one of Raymonde’s most beloved artists, in her first collaboration outside of The Innocence Mission and solo recordings.
♣••♣ Together, the Lost Horizons ensemble has created an hour of exquisite, expansive and diverse spellcasting, from facets of soul (‘Bones’, featuring Cannon, and ‘Reckless’, featuring Ghostpoet) to dreamier invocations like ‘She Led Me Away’ (featuring Smith) and Ojalá’s lengthiest trip, ‘The Engine’ (featuring Hilang Child). There’s the odd louder, faster detour, like ‘Life Inside A Paradox’ (featuring Neal, with Sharon Van Etten on backing vocals), but the dominant mood is a deep, rich melancholia.
♣••♣ Before he started Bella Union, Raymonde was the bassist of the seminal Cocteau Twins, where the vein of melancholia went very deep. Even before the band had signed to 4AD, the label were releasing records by the instrumental quartet Dif Juz, arguably the first word in post~rock, 15 years before it became a trend: Thomas was their anchor; the engine room of their wondrous freeflow. The two bands became friends, and toured together.
♣••♣ “Dif Juz are still one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen, and I adore Richie’s drumming,” says Raymonde. “He plays in a really unusual style, with his hands around the wrong way… He’s got a dubreggae style, but with a jazz feel. He makes the whole drum kit come alive.”
♣••♣ Raymonde and Thomas had made demos together in the eighties, but filed them away — though they did collaborate on ‘Ivy And Neet’, found on This Mortal Coil’s second album Filigree & Shadow (1986), with Thomas adding a spiralling saxophone to Raymonde’s improvised piano. But both found their journeys diverging. Long after Dif Juz split, Thomas had toured with The Jesus And Mary Chain, Moose, Felt and, in the nineties, Cocteau Twins. But as he recalls, “The business side of music became too painful. I had too much love for music that wasn’t returned. But Simon has music in his heart and soul, he’s extremely talented, and I wanted to get him making music again. And when the idea of jamming together came up again, I got really excited, which I hadn’t felt about music in ages.”
♣••♣ The pair booked four days in an east London studio, with Raymonde on piano and Thomas on drums, and a simple plan: “It must feel like fun, never a chore, and it had to be improvised,” Raymonde explains. “If it never became a record, it didn’t matter. It was all about recapturing that feeling when you’re 15, making music with friends.”
♣••♣ Raymonde added bass, guitar and occasional electronics at his home studio in Brighton, turning improvisation into songs, and a second four~day session was booked — the day that David Bowie suddenly died. “I didn’t know if I could go through with it,” Raymonde says, “Richie was just as upset, but he said, ‘Let’s use that energy, and power through,’ and I’m so glad we did. That energy and excitement is still on the finished record.”
♣••♣ As the songs took shape, Raymonde began thinking of singers to approach that would suit each, and to his surprise and joy, they all agreed. The same ground rules as the original sessions applied: “There were no, ‘Am I going in the right direction?’ conversations. It had to be about the moment, about what felt right.”
♣••♣ Given the role of guest singers, the common ground that Raymonde and Thomas shared, and the love of melancholia, it’s not surprising that Ojalá has something in common with This Mortal Coil — underlined further by the plan to add a bonus disc of ambient recordings that evolved into solo piano pieces, similarly transformed into haunting song, “as a quieter contrast to the band pieces,” says Raymonde. “I love the tracks I’m not playing on just as much,” says Thomas, referring to ‘Frenzy, Fear’ (featuring Hilang Child), ‘Winter’s Approaching’ (featuring Nadler) and ‘Stampede’ (featuring Lanterns On The Lake’s Hazel Wilde). “They’re super~emotional. And to be involved somehow in that music made it even more powerful.”
♣••♣ Indeed, Ojalá was made for its core duo’s need to make music, and to create something beautiful, and meaningful, in these dark times. It’s why the record is named after the Spanish for “hopefully” (or “God willing”).
|Lost Horizons — Ojalá / Brighton (Nov 2017 / Jan 2018)|