Lump: Animal review – teetering on edge of the delightfully weird

Fri, Jul 30, 2021, 05:00






It’s not difficult to see why Laura Marling is drawn to working with Mike Lindsay, formerly of folktronica pioneers Tunng. In their collaborative duo of Lump, Marling can sidestep the weighty labels that have been ascribed to her (“folk luminary”, “voice of a generation”) and simply enjoy making something altogether more offbeat and experimental. 

The pair’s 2018 eponymous debut came across as uncertain in some parts and perhaps a little try-hard in others. Animal, their second suffers from no such fate. Lyricist and vocalist Marling’s contributions work beautifully with Lindsay’s evocative compositions, many of them featuring unusual rhythms inspired by the wave patterns near his seaside studio. They swing wildly but pleasurably from the electronic patter of Bloom at Night to the off-kilter pop clatter of Paradise and the squelchy groove of Gamma Ray. 

Animal and the wonky indietronica of Climb Every Wall draw from the same woozy well as some of Metronomy’s material. Red Snakes takes a more sombre piano-driven path and instrumental interlude Hair on the Pillow ploughs an eerie pagan Wicker Man-style furrow. Marling, whose lyric sheet was inspired by her incursions into psychoanalysis, earns bonus points for rhyming “prostitution” with “Lilliputian” on Phantom Limb. 

At all times, there is a sense that each song is teetering on the edge of something delightfully weird, while every listen reveals something new. A surprising, strange but deeply satisfying collection.