Album review by firstname.lastname@example.org
Nothing like a nice cheery title to get an album off to a good start. 'Obituaries' is the second album from Brighton band Laish, formed by Danny Green, an active member of Brighton's music scene and a presenter for the excellent Simple Folk Radio. You're more likely to get a grasp of the sounds here by looking at his other work rather than the album title. And besides, there's already a thrash metal band called Obituary, and this record isn't referencing them in any way. So, you've guessed it, we're in folk music territory on this one, and if you're thinking that the last thing you need in your life is another modern folk collective, then hear us out.
Maybe down to the fact that Green and co. have a very good understanding of the genre thanks to their other ventures, Laish won't bore you to tears, and they won't make you want to eat your own ears with inauthentic pretend-folk. The music they make may be best described as acoustic-pop anyway, this isn't your classic cliched traditionalism, these are well arranged, well written and carefully though out songs. The average pace is, naturally, fair to middling, and instead of going overboard to make a bold statement with grand orchestration, the strings, flutes and brass, while intricate and brilliantly fitting, are kept low in the mix, although given more of a central role than on the previous record. They compliment the songs, not disguise them.
In which case, these songs need to be a high calibre, and surely the jaunty (musically at least) 'Warm the Wind' or the mildly electric 'Carry Me' would work had they been just one man and his guitar; something that 'Delicate Creatures' is for the first half, before it shimmers into life. 'Choice' could almost be Belle & Sebastian. There's a stateliness about 'Visions' and 'Choices' that is very appealing. Some moments are bleak and sombre, like opening track 'Obits' with its detached vocal or the slightly barren 'Discipline', but mostly this is an upbeat album. 'Obituaries' is a step forward for the band; the arrangements are that touch more magical this time and the songs have a bit more of a glint in their eye. We're guessing there are five very satisfied people in the Laish camp right now.
Stream or buy the album
Catch them live:
Friday 19th – Prince Albert, Brighton
Saturday 20th – The Wilmington Arms, London
Sunday 21st – The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle
Monday 22nd – The Castle Hotel, Manchester
Tuesday 23rd – The Bicycle Shop, Norwich
Wednesday 24th – Ort Café, Birmingham
Thursday 25th – Golden Lion, Bristol
Friday 26th – The Revelry, Exeter
Saturday 27th – Miss Peapod’s, Cornwall
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