The Albums of 2011 – #8 Lanu – Her 12 Faces
Coming from a perennial favourite label of mine – Brighton-based beat heads Tru Thoughts, Lanu is a solo/side project from Lance Ferguson. Lance also happens to be a member of TT’s legendary Aussie funk ensemble The Bamboos and has worked with Kylie Auldist and Aloe Blacc in the past, so he’s clearly a man that’s capable of a solid tune or two.
Anyway, Her 12 Faces is the 2nd Lanu album, and without wanting to disparage and make it sound slight, this could only really be described as Pop Music. Quirky pop maybe, polka dot indie pop perhaps, but really just 12 tunes that lodge in your brain with addictive hooks, a warm sensation of familiarity, and an endearing loveable charm that can only really be heard to be appreciated. It has to be said, the slightly moody cover artwork would suggest otherwise..
Roughly half of the tunes are instrumental in flavour and call to mind the upper end of 90’s lounge & lush trip hop “bar-room beats.” The other half of the tracks feature the lilting vocals of up’n’comer Megan Washington (who apparently recently won 2 gongs a the Australian ARIA awards). The combination of these two elements create tracks that have a bit of a swinging/psychedelic gallic swagger about them.. Remember when Flight of the Conchords did “Foux Da Fa Fa”? Yea, kinda like that, but with more sincerity.
Personal favourite tune on the album is Roosevelt Blues in which Washington sings over a playful, playground melody that slowly reveals itself to be a scratched record stuck in a loop. It really is a delightful, catchy track and I mean it as a compliment when I say it’s been my phone’s ringtone for most of this year.
Most importantly, this album is accessible and engaging in a way that probably no others of this list will be – it’s one of the few albums I can put on in the car and not have my wife tell me to “turn off this shit” after 5 minutes, and by the second chorus we’ll both find ourselves singing along and smiling out the windows.
In the words of Shakin’ Stevens – lovely stuff.
Here’s the album’s lead single – Beautiful Trash
Please come back at the same time tomorrow to see my pick for Album #7 of 2011. Bask in the pure joy of this music until then.
The Clockwork Shorts 2011 retrospective can be browsed for your pleasure right HERE