Album Reviews

Album Review: LotusEater – Guides

LotusEater – Guides

Browsing bandcamp for Irish acts, I came across a brand new release from an artist called LotusEater. I had a listen to a couple of tracks, was drawn in and have been hooked ever since. Unfortunately, I know nothing about the band. The internet turns up nothing on them, neither does the strange description at the bottom “Music for Neil Power to make sweet love drums to”.

The one thing I do know about this record is that it’s amazing. It truly is one of the best new sounds you will hear all year. I just can’t praise Guides enough. It takes its inspiration from everyone from Portishead to Massive Attack to Air to Bjork and maybe even a little Morcheeba.

From opener ‘Merlin’ to closer ‘Flaws of My Generation’, you’re in for an ethereal, spectral treat. The vocals are delicious, and sweep, glide, and soar through these eight tracks. ‘Blue Lagoon’ showcases them best, but there’s so many standout tracks on here it’s difficult to pick a favourite. The styles are diverse, yet still sequenced perfectly and the eight songs blend perfectly into each other.

The guitar-driven ‘Ice Queen’ is a wonderful layered, groove overlaid with unsettling lyrics, culminating in a screechy, croaking chorus. ‘Skim the Water’ is a much more laid-back piano tune, that starts off easy before becoming unsettling and disjointed. It’s ambitious, especially vocally, but it all pays off, making for a wonderful tune. Forget about Anna Calvi, LotusEater is so much better.

The splendidly titled ‘Jazz on Crack’ is a more old-school rock track, taking in Karen O and Alison Mosshart while staying loyal to the throwback 90s trip-hop sound of the rest of the record. ‘Night Phoenix’ is another guitar led track and when I introduced it to Tenaka’s Ronan Carroll, he noted how it has the feel of Jeff Buckley’s ‘Lilac Wine’. Fine praise indeed.

For all its laid back grooves and textured tunes, Guides has moments of straight-up rocking out. The angry ‘Pay Your Due’ is the best of these, and will find you trashing about on Dublin Bus with your headphones quickly becoming dislodged. Closer ‘Flaws of My Generation’ is a nice comedown after it to end the record, and like all the other tracks here is perfect. I just can’t get enough of these guys I know nothing about.

Guides could be by anyone. There may not even be a band called LotusEater. Perhaps these are stolen songs from some other, long-established act. They sure sound like them. Whether they are or not doesn’t change anything. Just like it doesn’t matter who wrote Shakespeare. The finished product is there for everyone to enjoy. And enjoy Guides you will, because it’s simply magnificent from start to finish.

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

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