With their second album ‘Heyoon’, London quartet Landshapes have pushed their love of experimentation and genre fusing to the limit
eyoon is the second release from London-based quartet Landshapes. Having previously recorded as Lulu And The Lampshades, a misspelled gig poster led to a name change and a refocusing on a more adventurous sound. Continuing on from where Rambutan left off, this album further advances the band’s insatiable appetite for stockpiling different sounds and styles.
At their best, Landshapes are capable of crafting sumptuous music. Ader, one of the more straightforward compositions on the album, is a rocking bass and drum track with occasional bursts of synth colour. It tells the tragic tale of artist Bas Jan Ader’s doomed attempt at crossing the Atlantic in a small sailboat. Red Electric Love Fern is a brooding and bubbling slow jam with an enchanting siren call.
This kaleidoscopic approach does lead to the occasional misstep – Lone Wolf ventures too closely to bland Dido territory and Rhino is a slightly jarring modification of Let’s Dance era Bowie. However, when things come together, they do so in glorious fashion, as demonstrated on the album’s final track, Solipsist. Seemingly discordant notes balance perfectly and the tempo shifts throughout. Like a maverick chef bringing together ingredients that don’t belong on the same plate, it is testament to brave ambition.
There is plenty to admire on Heyoon and Landshapes commitment to unearthing new sounds and styles should be applauded. They are a band whose work continues to excite – who knows what they might come up with next.
Verdict: An ambitious adventure in multicolour
Have a listen to the ‘rocking bass and drum track with occasional bursts of synth colour’ of Ader below…