INTERVIEW: LANTERNS ON THE LAKE | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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With a critically-acclaimed new album in tow, ethereal indie maestros Lanterns On The Lake gear up for their biggest and arguably most special headline show to date; a homecoming show at Sage Gateshead with the accompaniment of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, on Saturday 6th February.

For nigh-on ten years now, Lanterns On The Lake have been releasing music of an extraordinary calibre, boasting the juxtaposition of dreamlike, dainty vocals and gritty, post-rock-esque instrumentation. Over the years, the group have reached euphoric heights, not only in the form of three well respected and beautifully crafted albums, but also with a constant array of unique and awe-inspiring live performances.

Whilst performances at Glastonbury, SXSW and a tour of the UK in support of Explosions In The Sky are high on the list of notable Lanterns shows, lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Hazel Wilde still holds their hometown gigs in particular high regard. “We try to make every show as good as we can, but it’s particularly important to us to make the hometown shows that extra bit special – mainly because there’s a bunch of people up here that have supported us from the very beginning, and it’s good to keep marking that journey with them in a memorable way.”

The band have performed at Sage Gateshead a number of times in recent years, both at headline shows and in support of others, however in this particular instance, they’re teaming up with Royal Northern Sinfonia Orchestra to craft a unique rendition of their latest album, Beings, in full, alongside a number of songs from their back catalogue.

“If I’m honest I don’t think we were ready to do anything as ambitious as this before, musically or in terms of the stage we were at in our career. Now seems like the right time.” Hazel says. “The whole thing came about when we were talking of ways to make the North East gig a really special one; the folks involved with Sage and Royal Northern Sinfonia had heard Beings, and were keen to have the orchestra work with us in some way, so it grew from there.”

We try to make every show as good as we can, but it’s particularly important to us to make the hometown shows that extra bit special

Released in November last year, Beings is an intense and elegant body of work, which sheds light on a number of areas (both lyrically and musically) that seemingly haven’t been touched upon by Lanterns On The Lake in the past. Songs such as The Crawl, a devastatingly beautiful slow-burner, which floats around the subject of fearful encounters and realisations, perfectly encapsulate the new territory the four-piece are currently embarking upon.

“The writing and recording process was the same as always – working in our rehearsal room and in our houses, but I guess Beings does have more of a depth to it than our previous stuff, it has a wider scope and pulls to different extremes. It can be pretty dark at times, and at others there’s a lot of hope and light in there. When working on this record, we didn’t really feel like we were under any pressure or that we had anything to prove, so as a result of that we went in and just made a record that we loved and that came from a very real place.”

Despite the recent commercial and critical success that Beings has been inundated with (including glowing reviews from a number of renowned music publications and being chosen as BBC 6Music’s Album of the Day), Hazel admits that their status has not came to fruition overnight. “It’s been a slow, slow climb and we didn’t expect anything other than that. We all thought when writing Beings that it would be our least commercially successful record, a ‘slow-burner’ almost. Ironically, it seems to have done the most for us in terms of radio play and critical success, which has kind of taken us by surprise.”

The band are excited for the opportunities to present a different side of their music at the Sage show, as well as their other noteworthy plans for 2016. “We’ve all been looking forward to the Sage show for a while now. We’ve spent a bit of time working on arrangements for the songs and other bits and pieces to make it special. After that, we have one show in London before heading over to Europe for a tour. Our last tour felt particularly good, the audiences were all very positive about the new stuff. We’re pretty fortunate in that the people that come to our gigs tend to be super nice people, the kind of people you’d go to the pub with! So it’s always a pleasure to be going on tour. We’ll be doing a few festivals and stuff over the summer, then we might do a bit of writing and recording, but we’ll see how things pan out.”

Lanterns On The Lake and Royal Northern Sinfonia, plus support Ditte Elly, play Sage Gateshead on Saturday 6th February.

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