Lull brings out new music – Cicada and Rainer

New single from Lull – “Cicada/Rainer”

This North London based-band was formed in early 2014 by Jon, Toby, Filipe and Simon. Their press compares them to Smashing Pumpkins, My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. But they are very much their own. February 29th sees the release of single “Cicada/Rainer” on Plastic Fish.

Cicada starts off with the front man’s voice, close, so close. Jon has developed as a singer, and there is a clarity there that lets us appreciate bits of odd intrigue like “I can’t hear in a straight line” along with a concentration that recalls early Radiohead. The verse continues until a lead up to the non-existent chorus, announced by an strange childlike piano part, underlying their stretch for complementarity. The vocal harmony removes any need for analysis, pulling everyone back in. Once the guitars get thicker – well balanced by the drums which break up the wave of sound into bitesize pieces, building with that dimensional intensity – the feeling of going somewhere envelopes until you’re lost in a sea of sound. It’s more polished than before but grips on with velvet gloves to the oceanic sound that Lull seem to be only improving upon. They’ve got an idea here, a good one, and no matter how much it may remind of the high points of the shoegaze scene of the past, Lull emanate the excitement of the new.

Rainer comes out harder, drums and guitar riff, before dissolving suddenly into arpeggios and background silence. The vocal is soft, but when the bass and drums return, it moves along with them, a ribbon of coloured silk along a dark highway. The chorus is all the moments of the 90s, vanquished, remembered, and dissolved into a neat absinthe flood of heat. There’s levels here, a multi-dimensional construction, every part something to explore. If this is the direction Lull are headed in, then there is a fine sea of pleasure to anticipate. They might have to invent a new word, because their music goes beyond shoegaze.

by Alice Severin


Music and Mutterings of 2015

Well, here we are at the last day of 2015. And it’s been an interesting year, as in “may you live in interesting times.” There’s nothing that can be said quickly about what’s going on around us, except that you have to hope that more people are taking a personal role in speaking out against bigotry, ignorance, and hatred, wherever it shows up. Positivity and compassion, may those ideas fill us all and shape our so-called reality.

Musically, there’s been the constant flow of new material, although to look at the charts, you’d find it hard to believe that besides a small handful of people in the eye of the media, anyone else is actually doing anything. Step away from the mainstream though, and there’s a lot of people out there, fighting the good fight and struggling to get heard in the flood of what’s available.

Someone said to me that artists who have achieved success should stand aside, and let the new come through. I really don’t agree with that, for many reasons, not the least being that to say to someone they no longer have a reason to create is to kill them, early. Let’s be grateful for the people out there who want to keep going, and do, right to the end.  

We just lost a fine example of living life on your own terms, not to a mediatized schedule. Lemmy (RIP) said “If you’re going to be a fucking rock star, go be one. People don’t want to see the guy next door on stage; they want to see a being from another planet.”

May you find your planet in 2016.

2015 Video Playlist

Top Ten Albums of 2015

Drenge – Undertow

Dave Gahan and Soulsavers – Angels and Ghosts

Duran Duran – Paper Gods

Jamie xx – In Colour

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

Spector – Moth Boys

Wolf Alice – My Love is Cool

American Wrestlers – American Wrestlers

Dilly Dally – Sore

Mew – + –

Top Ten Songs of 2015

Dave Gahan and Soulsavers – All of This and Nothing

Duran Duran – Paper Gods

Drenge – Standing in the Cold

Kendrick Lamar – How Much a Dollar Cost

Spector – All The Sad Young Men

American Wrestlers – Wild Yonder

Mew – Water Slides

Jamie xx – Hold Tight

Dilly Dally – Desire

Bang Gang feat. Keren Ann – A Lonely Bird

Special Mentions

DTCV – Uptime!

Lull – Bubble Tea EP

Lull the band from London – say hello to noise pop

The second I set foot across the pond, or they come here, I’m rushing to a concert. The idea of hearing them loud and live…on serious repeat on the playlist.

From the moment “Bubble Tea” comes soaring through the speakers, flooding the room with layers of sound, it’s clear that the self-titled debut EP from London newcomers Lull is something special. Lull isn’t riding a shoegaze wave, they’re generating it. Like a massive storm out to sea, their sound is a mixture of commanding tension and watery melancholy, pierced through with the flashes of blistering, swirling guitar, and anchored by a powerful, crashing drum sound. Toby, Jon, Filipe, and Simon, who came together by complete chance to form Lull, demonstrate their mastery of melodic reverberation. The band complete each other, their heady music forming a signature sillage, like a scented trail left by a fragrance, or a wake left on the water, leaving no doubt this is a debut to watch. Out in North America on PaperCup Music, the EP has been getting a lot of love over here. Northern Transmissions was able to catch up with the band in London. Alice Severin talked with songwriter and guitarist Jon about influences, style, and substance.

Northern Transmissions: How are you and where are you?

Jon: Yeah, I’m doing great. I’m in Spitalfields in London, in East London where I work. And yeah, just about to decide whether to get a baguette or something a bit more bourgeois. (laughs)

NT: Are you still based in North London, all of you?

J: Yeah, so the majority of us live in North London. Yeah, we all live sort of north London. It’s actually quite remarkable that we were this close.

NT: So the EP’s come out in June, and you’ve been playing gigs. How’s it been going?

J: Yeah, most of the shows that we’ve been playing have been in London. We played one show in Portugal, because our drummer Filipe is from Portugal. So it was quite easy to get this gig hooked up, which was an amazingly hot experience. Honestly, I think it was like the hottest show we’ve ever played – it was crazy. Mostly, it’s just been London shows for now. We’ve been speaking with some friends to try and do a more regional tour of the UK, places like Manchester and Sheffield and that sort of thing.

NT: That would be really great.

J: Yeah, it would be good to get out of London for a bit. I’m from Manchester originally, and I really, really want get back there and play some shows, definitely.

But I think Toby is into a lot more US indie rock sort of things that are just a lot more clearly rhythmically structured. He sort of brought the pop balance to it. But I think that my insistence on there being this drowning pool of noise gave us that combination, gave us that signature “noise pop” sound, I guess?

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