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Lau - Arc Light

Lau, Arc Light

Review by Hedley Jackson

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

LAU, a folk-led trio from Scotland, release their second album, Arc Light, amid a huge amount of anticipation. Having picked up the award for Best Group at the Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2008 and 2009, Lau have already made a name for themselves.

The album begins with a six-and-a-half minute instrumental, where the band show their obvious ability. Consisting of a guitar, piano accordian and fiddle, Lau’s sound is incredibly rich and has a timeless feel to it.

However, without vocals some tracks can lose any real direction and seem quite bland. The tracks are nice and the melodies are strong, but on the whole, as songs, they fail to appeal.

Horizontigo flows from a placid stroll to an upbeat jaunt, which sounds great, but lacks any real depth.

The band have reinvented folk music, making it sound more complex and giving it a more contemporary song-structure. Songs are built-up, layer-upon-layer to a big, enthusiastic climax, and with excellent production it sounds incredibly crisp from start to finish.

Banks of Marble is the best track on the album, fantastically written with impressive vocals and lush sounding instrumentation. It shows their ability to diversify into pop-music both melodically and structurally.

Lau are incredibly popular and it’s obvious why. As a folk band, I rate them as one of the best. As an album, Arc Light lacks consistency and enough songs to make people sit up and take note.

Worth a listen, though, even if it’s just to be awed by the superb sounds Lau create.

Download picks: Banks of Marble, Dear Prudence

Track Listing:

  1. The Burrian
  2. Winter Moon
  3. Horizontigo
  4. Salty Boys
  5. Banks Of Marble
  6. Stephen’s
  7. The Master
  8. Frank & Flo’s
  9. Temple Of Fiddles
  10. Bonus Track: Dear Prudence