Lost Under Heaven or LUH, as they are commonly known , is comprised of the former frontman of the Manchester’s WU LYF, Ellery Roberts, and Dutch-based artist Ebony Hoorn. They met after Roberts split from his band and was looking for a new approach to creating music. Ebony is a recent graduate of the audio-visual department in Amsterdam’s prestigious Rietveld Academy. The two quickly found themselves in constant contact over the internet, sharing dreams and inspiration. Eventually Ellery left his refuge in London to make a life with Ebony in Amsterdam, and they were able to focus on a shared life project that resulted in the formation of LUH and their first release, Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing (MUTE Records).
The first and last tracks, the anthemic “I&I” and the semi-acoustic “The Great Longing,” are companion pieces, designed to guide the listener back to the start. The rest of the album is filled with numbers like “Unites,” “Here Our Moment Ends,” and “Lament,” which have a dreamy, mid-tempo, synth atmosphere that perfectly supports Roberts’ gruff (i.e. Nina Hagen and Tom Waits-type) and impassioned voice. Other songs like “Beneath The Concrete,” and “$ORO” pick up the pace with added sporadic drum beats, seen especially in the rockin’, thrashing guitar sound of “Lost Under Heaven.” Ebony’s clear, smooth vocal style contrasts nicely with Ellery Roberts’ much rougher one. On the etherial ballad “Future Blues,” Ebony takes the lead and produces one of the standout cuts, with a very spacey, Velvet Underground/Spacemen 3-esque slow-mo tempo and ultra echoing reverb.
Ellery Roberts and Ebony Hoorn defintiely have a specific vision for their life and their music and together as LUH. Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing is one of the most interesting and enjoyable full-length listening experiences in 2016 so far. We’re looking forward to hearing what they’ll be up to next. In the meantime, you can catch LUH live at the Pitchfork Music Festival taking place in Chicago, IL July 15-17, 2016. Check out mute.com for upcoming tour dates.
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