Laurens Court’s eagerly awaited self-titled sophomore album is out tomorrow. Hats off to the band, they’ve battled through this challenging time to achieve what they set out to against all the odds. We salute you.
The North East-based five-piece describe their work as “contemporary experimental grunge” with little regard for the boundaries set by genres and expectations. With summer months drawing nearer, in the typical “against the grain” style of Laurens Court, this album is an anomaly in an otherwise warm and sunny pond. It’s a dark one, folks. When I first heard their debut single, Burn, a few months back, I said to expect the unexpected with these guys, and I wasn’t wrong. Let’s dive right in.
This first song sets a dark and haunting scene. Sounds of falling rain intertwine with haunting piano and echoey vocal interjections to throw us straight into what feels like a faint memory of a creepy dream. Unnerving. Falu fades out into track two.
Coming On Down
Mellow and bluesy, I can see how it relates to its title. Distorted electric guitar, lyrical storytelling and a burst of unnerving laughter give off definite vibes of a heavy come down.
Short but effective, Track 3 draws you further into the drama and theatrics of this album. Imagine the eerie vocals accompaniment to a dark scene with a lonely, mournful ballet dancer floating around the stage. I’m in deep, as we move on to song four.
The Key + Redshift
Dramatic lyrics are carried along with the atmospheric, electronic instrumentation. Softly ending, The Key meets seamlessly with track five, Redshift, where the poetic element continues in a spoken monologue. This leads us more deeply down into the depths. I didn’t think further in was even possible. But the direct reference to loneliness, blackness and hell within, will do that to you.
The welcome sound of a jangly guitar injects some pleasant light and the band sing of living. There is a longing within the lyrics: “We want to live”. Distortion and mysterious interjections keep us tied to that all too familiar uneasy feeling as we move on to song seven.
This track draws upon the experience of internal battles of the mind to create an angry and explosive track. A shift from a passive, helplessness to a more powerful, fiery, battle readiness. The story continues.
Ah, summer! But alas, don’t let the title fool you. Where the melody is lighter, more laid back and the most upbeat yet, there is a lyrical juxtaposition with reference back to colder, darker days. Laurens Court aren’t letting us climb out of the rabbit hole just yet. Let the smooth jazzy piano and guitar solos take the edge off.
Laurens Court close with an unexpected glam, space-pop song with melodic piano mixed in with a heavier indie-rock sound. After the teasing of light throughout, at the album’s end, I feel emotionally drained in a good way.
Laurens Court are masters of theatrics. They’ve stayed true to their “anything goes” approach and with a confident vulnerability, have managed to create something raw and unique, which connects to the darkness within us all. An expose of the personal struggles we face and the invisible battles we fight. It’s a hard-hitting experience, and one not to be missed.