Lost Horizons review: Distilled sounds of a dream-pop pioneer

Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 05:00



Lost Horizons

Bella Union


He has spent the past 20 years shepherding the careers of other artists via his label Bella Union, but now it’s time for Simon Raymonde to plug his own music. Of course, the Londoner has previous form – most notably as a member of pioneering dream-poppers Cocteau Twins in the 1980s and 1990s and more recently as a member of alt-pop band Snowbird – but his latest endeavour sees him team up with an old pal, drummer Richie Thomas of primeval post-rockers Dif Juz.

A cast of well-known vocalists fill out their dreamy pop-rock, including Marissa Nadler, Liela Moss (The Duke Spirit) and Midlake’s Tim Smith, who leads harmony-driven standout She Led Me Away. Ghostpoet’s languid drawl brings an enticing darkness to Reckless, while singer Beth Cannon excels on the irresistibly quirky groove of Bones.

The proliferation of similar-sounding female vocalists means there is a sometimes overbearing “ethereal pop” tone, but the tracklist is given the odd shot of adrenaline by Raymonde’s impressive basslines and Thomas’s jazzy drumming style, best heard on the jittery groove of Asphyxia. A cluttered canvas on paper, perhaps – but the duo’s experience allows them to distil what works best on record.