With their much-anticipated new album Versions Of Us due for release on June 2 via Bella Union, the Mercury Prize-nominated group, Lanterns On The Lake today share their new single, “Real Life” which premiered via Paste Magazine. Featuring Radiohead’s Philip Selway on drums, “Real Life” emerges as another stunning piece of an album packed with high watermarks for the band. Fusing fuzzy guitars with a chiming central hook and poignant lyrics about a better existence, it’s a brazen blast of indie-rock with vocalist, Hazel Wilde demonstrating another powerful vocal turn.
When discussing the new single, Hazel Wilde of the band says: “This song is about living your imaginary fully realized life. It’s about the promise that you make to yourself and others of something better rather than living in the moment and accepting who and where you are. It’s essentially one for the daydreamers.”
“Real Life” follows on the heels of earlier singles – “The Likes Of Us” and “String Theory” – that have been garnering support from the likes of Under the Radar Magazine, Brooklyn Vegan, Consequence, Exclaim! and many more.
The nine songs on Versions Of Us are existential meditations examining life’s possibilities; facing the hand we’ve been dealt and the question of whether we can change our individual and collective destinies. Singer and songwriter Hazel Wilde has no doubt that motherhood fundamentally shifted her perspective. “Writing songs requires a certain level of self-indulgence, and songwriters can be prone to dwelling on themselves,” she says. “Motherhood made me aware of having a different stake in the world. I’ve got to believe that there’s a better way and an alternative future to the one we’ve been hurtling towards. I’ve also got to believe that I could be better as a person, too.”
Mixed by the band’s guitarist Paul Gregory, in the bedroom of his home in North Shields, there is a sense of time and place that runs deep throughout this record.
Given some of its themes, a biting irony is found in an entire previous version of the record being discarded. Mental health struggles and personal problems in the band had a big impact on how the initial version took shape. “Despite trying everything we could to make it work we reached the point where we just had to stop” Wilde explains. Drummer Ol Ketteringham parted ways with the band, something Wilde says was “heartbreakingly difficult as we were and still are extremely close”. The band scrapped nearly a year’s worth of work, regressing to song demos with just Wilde performing with a single instrument as they began again with Radiohead’s Philip Selway joining the album sessions on drums and percussion.
Despite the difficulties in its genesis, Versions of Us is the most empowering album yet from the band. In exploring whether we can change fate or are doomed to repeat the same mistakes in life, this powerful collection of songs ultimately alights on hope.