It came with a laminated leaf in the packaging. Roughly textured cardstock A simple handwritten title. Was it something new on Digitalis? Or even something new on Jewelled Antler? Nope and nope.
Lanterns are a trio of gents from the UK who?ve shared bills with fellow travelers Ashtray Navigations and Directing Hand. Because their name and album title are frustratingly Google-proof (not to mention their song titles), I?ll list their names here: Luke Vollar, Rhid Williams, and Andreas Jonsson. They make drone music.
Now, I love drone, but can?t claim to understand how it works. Its construction and composition, its emotional mechanics, are all mysteries to me and I don?t mind. I can categorize it by tone or technique (I like warm or ?organic? drone over cold, electronic, or doomy drone, mostly), and I know all the signifiers I need to hit in order to accurately or impressionistically describe it. But mostly I either like it or I don?t.
I wasn?t so into Lanterns at first, but the more I listen to ?Once?, the more I enjoy the way it sounds and the way it makes me feel. The titular first track, one of two long pieces that bookend two shorter ones, starts out slow and tense. Some wind, low noise, machinery coming to life. Not my cup of tea, but I stuck with it. Birchville Cat Motel?s ?Beautiful Speck Triumph? takes two discs to reach its exuberant peaks, after all. Luckily, after a few minutes some hesitantly plucked guitar notes fade in. Nice and tuneful. Eventually the piece coalesces and drifts apart again in a haze of chimes and ebowed string. It?s great.
The more compact ?Twice? bristles and cracks from the get-go, before ending with the same joyous noise, but the percussion-heavy ?Thrice? sounds merely like the mice in your cupboards rattling around together in concert.
Finally, ?Once Again?, as you might guess, follows the same blissful themes as the first track, but adds some more sounds to the mix. Like the cover design and packaging, Lanterns? music is beautifully unassuming, and at 34 minutes the album is over way too fast. Now I?m gonna put it on repeat, go to sleep, and dream of more. 8/10 -- Nadav Carmel (29 June, 2006)