Lau - Race the Loser (2012) [FLAC]

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Artist: Release: Race the Loser
MusicBrainz: d40b2bfb-6747-46d6-a1c0-0bb66ecd01e3
Released: 2012-09 / 2012-10-01
Label: Reveal Records
Catalog#: REVEAL 011CDX
Country: GB
Packaging: Digipak


01. Saint Monday (05:20)
02. Far From Portland (07:51)
03. The Bird That Winds the Spring (04:12)
04. Missing Pieces (00:38)
05. Save the Bees (05:27)
06. Torsa (06:59)
07. Throwing Pennies (04:27)
08. Noltland Castle (04:37)
09. Beer Engineer (05:17)

In this album's opening moments, you're thrown. Here are ambient electronics, and a pulse like a heartbeat. Here's Martin Green's accordion sounding far from traditional, next to a processed drum sound gurgling and fading.
Then comes the heavenly sound of Aidan O'Rourke's clear, direct violin, and Kris Drever's Orkney burr ΓÇô the latter coming two minutes into Race the Loser's first track, Saint Monday. Lyrics about ΓÇ£ageless eyesΓÇ¥ and forlorn warehouses wisp into the air, announcing this trio's new direction boldly, and with mystery.
Despite winning Best Group at the Radio 2 Folk Awards three times, Lau have dipped their toes often into less-traditional waters for their third album. Last year alone, they played a Celtic Connections concert with Cream's Jack Bruce and made an EP with folktronica godfather Adem; in the pipeline soon is an orchestral work with Irish composer Brian Irvine.
But on Race the Loser, Lau approached US producer Tucker Martine to freshen their sound, a man who has worked with Sufjan Stevens, R.E.M., The Decemberists and his wife Laura Veirs.
Fans of The Decemberists, in particular, will find much to enjoy here: nine compelling, densely textured tracks made in a seven-day session. Every experiment works gorgeously, almost alchemically. Far From Portland, named after Martine's hometown, marries crunching tape sounds, Bert Jansch-like guitars, and an outro that recalls Mogwai's gentler moments ΓÇô and it works.
The Bird That Winds The Spring takes handclap percussion into a gorgeously melancholy place, where Drever's protagonist ΓÇ£lays his wagesΓÇ¥ at ΓÇ£street altarsΓÇ¥. Throwing Pennies could stop breath with its lyrics about hearts being weighed down by anchors. Missing Pieces is as outre as it gets, but still lovely: a 38-second, Eno-worthy interlude.
Lau's traditional fans, however, won't be disappointed. Torsa and Noltland Castle are rich with the band's roots, in all senses. So is the closing Beer Engineer, until it veers off dramatically with an organ and violin psychedelically whirling.
Race the Loser ends as it begins, which makes it even more impressive: an album for alternative music lovers as much as folk fans, brimming over with intoxicating, mesmerising music.		
01 - Saint Monday.flac 27.591 MB
02 - Far from Portland.flac 42.293 MB
03 - The Bird that Winds the Spring.flac 24.866 MB
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