LUMP – ‘LUMP’ album review

Photo credit: Mathew Parri Esteban Diacono

Comprising of Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay of Tunng, LUMP release their debut album via the always-special Dead Oceans Records. The seven-song folktronica-infused album combines moog synths, spaced-out guitars, flutes and Laura’s special voice and has been influenced by everything from 20th century surrealism and absurdist poetry to Mike’s time living and working as a producer in Iceland.

‘Late to the Flight’ opens the album with a smash of drone-inspired noise and eerie atmospherics before acoustic guitar strums are added to the fray and Laura states (or threatens?) ‘if you keep rolling the dices, keep that stake in your heart’. She then talks about times of crisis, smiley T-shirts and how the subject is ‘shaking your hips like a tart’ with a hint of bitterness around echoed repeats of ‘I won’t do it anytime’. This grand cinematic feeling continues through to the rhythmic and almost spoken-word ‘May I Be the Light’, which opens with the lyrics: ‘Please don’t leave your bed in a mess. Just in case you get some new guests and they should be in need of rest. Even beds deserve the very best’. This subtly experimental song recalls Bjork’s use of electronics and leads perfectly into the more soulful ‘Rolling Thunder’, which finds Laura stating how she’s a woman of a ‘certain space and time’ before reaffirming this with the statement: ‘I’m your mother, I’m your father’.

Recent single ‘Curse of the Contemporary’ is already a 6Music favourite and wowed the viewers of Jools Holland when performed live. As Mike’s composition showcases a big bass sound and wonked-out guitars, Laura delivers a stern warning to anyone who finds themselves ‘bored in California’. This is then backed up by the rhythmic and timely chant of ‘We salute the sun because of when the day is done, we can’t believe what we’ve become. Something else to prey upon…’ There’s a trip-hop feel to the opening moments of the synth-led ‘Hand Hold Hero’, which is both psychedelic and abstract as Laura authoritatively claims ‘I choose to always be there for you.’

The synth line eases into the penultimate ‘Shake Your Shelter’. This song is full of eye-opening poetic lyrics (‘To be born a crier, naked inside and you can’t go back’; ‘I know the feeling of losing the ceiling on a beach full of empty shells’) and has a loop-led choral breakdown which will give you goosebumps. It’s fitting that the closing song – ‘LUMP is a product’ – contains the genuine credits of the album, including all the musicians who helped out Laura and Mike, being read over ambient noise. It’s a cinematic end to a far-reaching record that isn’t afraid to explore new themes and sounds.

 

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