Making Melancholy More Beautiful. Lanterns on the Lake Interview

Lanterns on the Lake Lanterns on the Lake Press Photo

A feeling of melancholy kicks in as soon as one hears Lanterns on the Lake. The U.K. five-piece’s sound generates memories of once-read fairytales and legends. The sound travels far beyond the earthly level, stirring up emotional, intellectual, and spiritual response.

Their music sets one in a profound dreamlike frame of mind, and by its force defying the modern-day world of fragmented souls. There is certain sensitivity in their music. It promises catharsis and hope. It also inspires and invites listeners to inaugurate the realm of their own interpretations.

The band is composed of Hazel Wilde on vocals, guitar, and piano; Paul Gregory on guitar, backing vocals, and laptop; Oliver Ketteringham on drums and piano; Sarah Kemp on violin and accordion; and Andrew Scrogham on bass. Having just released their Until the Colours Run EP , the band is currently on their first North American tour.

Lanterns on the Lake

Lanterns on the Lake


Hazel Wilde (HW): We formed around 2008 when me, Ol and Paul were writing songs together and we asked a few others to join us to play live and record. The three of us have actually been making music together for a lot longer than that though and the “band” has taken on various forms over the years. Coming up with a band name can be one of the hardest things to do when you are trying to put a band together – -you know, trying to think of something that hasn’t already been taken for a start and secondly, something that kind of fits your music. I picked our name after seeing a photograph of some lanterns on a lake and I thought it sounded a bit different from your average band name and so we went with it.


HW: The lyrics are usually about personal things that are going on for me or on a wider social or political scale. They always come from a sincere place, whatever I’m writing about. I wouldn’t know how to sing about something that didn’t ring true and I wouldn’t feel any joy in trying to write your average song about boy-meets-girl. Musical inspirations vary in the band. We are all influenced by different styles of music, everything from The Beatles to Radiohead. There’s post-rock influences in there for sure, bands like Mogwai, ambient influences like Brian Eno, and more folk based singer-songwriter influences like Bob Dylan. Although we are influenced and inspired by other artists, we want to hold our own unique place in amongst all of that.


HW: Well this is our first US and Canadian tour so it would be nice to come back again. We are always working on new ideas and songs and I think when we get home from this tour me, Ol and Paul will be back in our rehearsal room fairly quickly to continue working on new material. We have a few projects that we are working on coming up, including putting on special show at a huge cathedral with brass players and a choir.


HW: In this new album I guess there’s very much an underlying socio-political theme there. It wasn’t so much an intentional thing. Like I say, the songs always need to come from a sincere place and I’ve never sat down and decided to write a song about a particular thing because that would feel too forced. In many parts of the UK at the moment though there are some difficult socio-political issues going on and especially where I live, in the North East of England. The government has made some fairly unfair and drastic cuts and decisions which have led to a lot of hardship and suffering for a lot of people. It would be hard to live there and not be influenced by that as well as what’s going on in the world on a wider scale.

Sonically, I think this record differs front the first record in sounding more of a homogenous record and feeling quite raw and colourful as well as dark and anxious at times.


HW: At our shows we get people of all ages and genders and that’s great. We don’t feel we need to be a band that has a certain listenership. Our music is something that both us and the listeners share. We want to be a special band for people and I think different people find and take different things from our music. It’s always interesting to meet people after the shows and hear about how they first discovered us and what our music means to them.


HW: Grow as a band in terms of songwriting and how we make records. Be the best band we can be.

Lanterns on the Lake play with Elliot Maginot at Divan Orange (4234 St. Laurent) on February 3 at 9:30 p.m. $12/15

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