LESOIR – LATITUDE – GENTLE ART OF MUSIC

The Dutch band is back with their fourth album, with artwork that perfectly states what the listener is going to come across, as it is atmospheric, beguiling and with beauty, but one is never quite sure what is happening between the calm surface of the water. I don’t think I’ve come across these guys before this, but they must have been doing something right as they managed to get both Jorn Cornfield (Muse) and Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief) to act as producers, which has given the band a mighty sound indeed, with obvious nods to both of those bands.

Maartje Meessen (vocals, flute, piano), Ingo Dassen (guitars), Eleen Bartholomeus (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Ingo Jetten (bass) and Bob Van Heumen (drums) go from delicate and almost ethereal to menacing, symphonic and powerful almost at whim, which makes for an album that is full of surprises as one is never quite sure where the music is going to go. There is a real feeling of a soundscape, of carefully layered good intentions that come together to create something that at times is really quite special indeed. They sometimes veer into the more experimental electronic, but always with strong female vocals, and even if there is a section where the listener may not be too comfortable, it soon moves into something else. It is probably fair to also call out Riverside as an influence, and while the album may not be the total success they wish it to be, it is certainly something that is intriguing and shows promise. Having not heard the previous albums I can’t say how this compares, but it will certainly be interesting to see where they go from here.

7/10 – Kev Rowland

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