The Long Lost – S/T (Ninja Tune)
While it lithely makes use of simultaneous humanity and technology (and who says the two can’t exist in symbiosis?), the debut album from The Long Lost also manages to shoehorn an innate musicality into proceedings. The deft syncopation of the vocal line on Amiss, the cross-rhythms of the guitar and vocal on Sibilance and the continual murmur of neatly selected vocal samples are all subtly woven rather than heavily sewn into the milieu, lending the record an ease comparable with a seated Caetano Veloso and Seu Jorge’s lighter moments (y’know, the ones where it’s political but you’ve slept through it quite happily).
With great relaxation comes great responsibility, and it’s paramount that it doesn’t slide into pure dinner party dross. If it’s a part of your nature to soothe, then you must barb your music in other areas to ensure that total relaxation can never quite come. With The Long Lost, it’s in these little tricks. The syncopations, the welcome titters of electronics, the continual promise of more intrigue to come. The sweet The Art Of Kissing features reasonably uncomplicated octave-spaced vocals, but the real weight is in the constantly pulsating arrangement. There are always other places to look.
A balance to be struck, then. The Long Lost manage, for the most part, to teeter on the pleasant ends of either side of this bizarre act. While there are dangerous moments where interest can be tested by sheer laconic charm, the occasional thrust of Espers-esque vocal harmony more than compensates. Involving and interactive, an envelope of sensation, and a few inches short of excellent.
The Long Lost arrives on March 2nd via Ninja Tune. More info and the chance to jam your ears here.