Yes, I know, it’s way too early to name the contenders for the Top Ten Albums of 2021 but, if In quiet times by Lost horizons not listed, I would be more than a little surprised. In quiet timesthe second album of Lost Horizons and their follow-up until 2017 Ojalais an epic 16-track disc of quite stunning beauty and crafted with an incredible array of disparate creativity.
Completion In quiet times sees the second installment of the double album arrive on February 26, with the first installment being released late last year on December 4. Each part contains eight songs, and both are as brilliant and seductive as each other. The artistry that has been brought here is quite mind-blowing at times. There are tracks throughout all sixteen that alone are worth the price of the whole album, they are that good.
The duo of former Cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde and Dif Juz drummer Richie Thomas have teamed up on their latest record to produce something truly exceptional. The attention to detail on each of the tracks that make up In quiet times is one of the albums with many qualities. The production and arrangement are nearly faultless and the performances that were delivered by the stellar line-up of guests are second to none.
Last year, Lost Horizons released five of the eight tracks from the album’s first half as singles. John Grant gave us an exceptional vocal performance on the infused Cocteau CordeliaMidlake’s Tim Smith Was In A Thoughtful Mood For The More Folksy Gray tower and Kavi Kwai closed out 2020’s unique Lost Horizon releases with a sublime, multi-layered and wonderfully harmonized gem with Every beat passed. (The evocative high-level dreamy pop can’t help but give you heart-pounding memories of Elizabeth Fraser).
2021 has seen Lost Horizons pick up where they left off without letting up on quality as the album’s release date draws closer and closer. The group’s first single of 2021 and the album’s title track, In quiet times, is a highlight of the entire album. The track features the voice of octogenarian Ural Thomas and it is flawless. The jazzy inflections, relaxed piano, snare rhythm and delightful vocals are a heavenly combination. Thomas said of the song: “Sometimes I feel strong and at one with the world. Other times I feel tiny and lonely. In a way, it’s the two parts of the same feeling. That feeling of being enclosed and defined by walls became more real soon after working on the song.”
The songIn Quiet Moments, feels timeless, but at the same time, you almost feel like you should be wearing ‘Sta Press’ drainpipe pants, a fitted turtleneck and winkle pickers as you head to a jazz club in the dimly lit basement and order a Bourbon on the rocks. The inspired spoken-word ending, suggested by Raymonde as a nod to Gil Scott-Heron, and celestial backing vocals provided by Spiritualized’s Wendi Rose took, as Simon puts it, “everything to the next level.”
This year’s second single features former collaborator Marissa Nadler on Married. The duo previously worked with Nadler on I saw the days go by and said “I don’t think there was ever a second I wasn’t going to find a song for Marissa to sing on the new LP”. Nadler’s subtly soulful and evocative voice is a perfect fit for the soundtrack that Raymonde and Thomas are able to conjure up deftly.
Lost Horizons’ latest single features the angelic vocal talents of KookieLou on Heart of a Hummingbird. The spinning, haunting score is effortlessly combined with KookieLou’s velvet vocals to deliver a hypnotic, melodic treat.
Of the remaining tracks on the album, blue soul is a lavish slow-motion featuring Laura Groves, Circlea more rhythmic and airy track with C Duncan and the final track, It’s time just a fabulous way to sign a quite spectacular album. With vocals provided by Karen Peris of The Innocence Mission and little more than delicate piano and string arrangement, Lost Horizons concludes a masterful sonic journey of discovery and enjoyment that will be nearly impossible to top.