Last Harbour “Lights”
The dark corners of the world that Last Harbour describe rather than illuminate have changed character of late. Last Harbour’s vision is the gentlemanly swish of the cape all elegance not the kinetic gore of the True Blood generation. They have always cloaked their songs with grandeur, a lush darkness, hell with black velvet scatter cushions and drapes.
Here even when they simplify things as on ‘Boy in the Photograph’ there are still swaddling strings and plenty of atmosphere, still more tuxedo than biker boot.
Their last full length ‘Volo’ was their most fully realised set yet -‘Lights’ from that record opens this mini-LP (there’s an accompanying film from the photographer Andrew Brook included). The evocative sonic textures are preset and plentiful ‘Be Happy Tonight’ is like a collision between the screaming metal on metal anguish of the brakes on a runaway train, a string quartet, and a wind chime factory in a gale, all with Kevin Craig’s baritone as a calm epicenter. ‘Alone for the Winter’ with its piano and mandolin combining with the usual strings moves tantalizingly close to a country lament, leaving them open to the usual Tindersticks/Walkabouts comparisons, both of which remain valid.
They are able to survive the comparisons as they pursue their own vision with such clarity and purpose. If light should ever find its way into their world they might, unlike these modern vampires (Twilight, Vampire Diaries) perish.