Released: 30th July 2021
Releasing their joint inner beasts once again, indie-folk royalty Laura Marling and Tunng’s Mike Lindsay have once again combined forces for ‘Animal’, their second record as LUMP. With an experimental debut that captured a potent sort of magic, it was always going to be hard to pull off the same trick twice – and yet, the pair may just have done it again.
There’s a real sense of escapism from the opening ‘Bloom At Night’ onwards, another dive into their strange world where reality has shifted ever-so-slightly onto another plane. It’s the most gentle of trips, electronic rhythms dancing adjacent to Marling’s wandering vocals before the tribal beats of ‘Gamma Ray’ transform into some form of post-apocalyptic noodle. The lyrics seem to run untethered from the music, the singer admittance that she found recording this a liberating experience away from her dual work on her latest solo record plain to see. Truth be told, it doesn’t take more than a few tracks to settle into place this time around – the mournful gut-punch of ‘Red Snakes’ sandwiched exquisitely between the deceptively simple ‘Climb Every Wall’ and the sinister-synth album highlight that is ‘Paradise’. Fittingly, it is glorious.
Whether this project will ever amount to anything more than a musical pressure release valve for the pair is perhaps unlikely. But equally, when the stars align and everything clicks into place as it does plenty and often, there is so much here to grab hold of. Untamed and wild, running on instinct rather than sense, LUMP is the sort of animal that you’re happy to know exists out there, in whatever world it may find itself in.