Words: Kristopher English / @kenglish47
- Landshapes’ third album, ‘Contact’, was released by Bella Union on December 11th.
- The last track on the album, ‘Conductor’, is one of the best album closers in recent memory.
- FFO: Nadine Shah, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Good Sad Happy Bad.
Attempting to describe London-based Landshapes is like trying to explain an early childhood memory. The details are elusive and fuzzy. The vision is more of an evoked feeling deep within your bones than a concrete formation you can lay out in specifics. The pictures are in fragments, some vivid, others ghostlike.
Formed in 2012, and formally known as Lulu and the Lampshades, Landshapes’ sound throughout their career has been an amalgamation of a variety of styles and influences, combining elements of psychedelic rock, goth, alt-folk, and hints of French pop. It all adds up to a brand of art-rock that is uniquely their own. On their recent album, ‘Contact’, they string together a streamlined but still eclectic and dramatic collection of songs, most notably the intoxicating album closer, ‘Conductor’, which may be the song of the year.
‘Conductor’ is a powerful dreamlike exploration of the body and soul’s sensations, moving from moments of serenity to dense, layered intensity through perceptible shifts in music. Starting predominantly with vocals, the opening line “Oh my God, you’ve electrified me” introduces, as the song begins to build, how the body’s response to touch, visual delicacy, and the physical world can be so overpowering and freeing. It can feel as if your internal universe is folding within itself while borders and constraints vanish. As these lyrics begin to linger like a drop of rain hanging from a leaf, the song explodes into something so visceral and raw, it will take your breath away.