Lanterns on the Lake
About Lanterns on the Lake
Drawing on the folk influences of Neil Young and the post-rock instrumental sounds of Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Low, Lanterns on the Lake combine the brooding vocals of songwriter Hazel Wilde with textured instrumentation. The band's first full-length release, Gracious Tide, Take Me Home, arrived in 2011. While maintaining a distinctively dreamy, delicate sound over the course of the decade, their lusher third album, Beings, saw release in 2015. Rising socio-political tensions were reflected on Spook the Herd, issued in 2020.
Founded in Newcastle in 2008, members of Lanterns on the Lake came together after playing in various bands on the local scene. Vocalist and guitarist Hazel Wilde was then engaged to Paul Gregory (guitars, electronics), and both were in a group with drummer Oliver Ketteringham. Wilde and violinist Sarah Kemp were old school friends, and brothers Brendan (bass) and Adam Sykes (guitar, vocals) completed the lineup. Plying their trade in a D.I.Y. fashion and on a small budget, they borrowed an 8-track recorder and set about creating their first two releases, The Starlight EP (2009) and Misfortunes & Minor Victories (2010), capturing the intimacy that was afforded to them by recording in their own homes and an abandoned house in Northumberland. They released their records with handmade sleeves and organized a series of gigs in obscure places, such as a boat house on the Tyne River and the highest pub in Britain (the Tan Hill Inn), garnering a strong following in the process.
Although Lanterns on the Lake received a recording budget after signing to Bella Union in the U.K., their 2011 debut album, Gracious Tide, Take Me Home, was captured in a similar vein to their EPs. Various front rooms, bedrooms, and the basement of a Newcastle shop were among improvised studio spaces. Gregory oversaw production and escalating instrumentation, which featured guitars, violin, mandolin, piano, synths, and glockenspiels. Imagery of the sea and water resonated throughout the band’s work and was further influenced by Wilde and Gregory’s relocation to the coast.
Brendan and Adam Sykes parted ways with the group in 2012, and remaining members pressed onward, releasing sophomore album Until the Colours Run in 2013. The following year, Kemp also left the band, so they added strings player Angela Chan and bassist Bob Allan to the official lineup. Recorded in isolation in their Newcastle rehearsal space and produced again by Gregory, Beings followed in 2015. Live with Royal Northern Sinfonia appeared a year later.
Returning all five members from Beings, Lanterns on the Lake's fourth studio album, Spook the Herd, arrived on Bella Union in early 2020. Representing their first recording venture outside of Newcastle, it was tracked in a studio in Yorkshire with engineer Joss Worthington and produced by the band. ~ Scott Kerr & Marcy Donelson
ORIGINNewcastle Upon Tyne, England