What does it sound like?:
Once in a while I come across an album I know nothing about by a band or an artist who is equally as unfamiliar. Ojala by Lost Horizons is one such album. Researching them I now know that they are essentially a duo – Simon Raymonde owner of the bELLA union record label and Richie Thomas ex drummer of The Cocteau Twins. They have been friends for many years and have played together over those years without ever embarking on a formal arrangement to write and record music
music together. Until now that is. They booked studio time and played together for 4 days without having actual form,ed songs. After the session they added overdubs of guitar, saxophone and other bits.
Then came the lyrics and the decision to employ guest singers on each song. This works spectacularly well as they don’t get locked into one sound even though the overall mood is a dreamy melancholia.
Guess vocalists include the likes off Sharon Van Etten, Ghostpoet and Marissa Nadler. I really liked one dreamy song She Led me away. After hearing it a few times I thought ‘this sounds like Midlake’ and checking the credits noticed it was sung by ex Midlake frontman Tim Smith. Another highlight is Stampede but each song adds something different to provide a very listenable album from start to finish.
What does it all *mean*?
I can still be surprised even in this current musical environment of more is less.
I haven’t heard anything else this year that sounds like this – no bandwagons have been jumped on, this is two mates making a nice racket with the help of some cool guests not all of whom re on the Bella Union label.
Goes well with…
Woozy Sunday afternoons – it is peaceful but will reveal hidden layers with each repeat listen.
Might suit people who like…
Quality music – there are traces of Air, Brian Eno in his poppier incarnations and Sharon Van Etten solo albums.