Release Date: Nov 3, 2017
Record label: Bella Union
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Coinciding with Bella Union's 20th year, label-runner Simon Raymonde, formerly of Cocteau Twins, presents the debut of his collaboration with drummer Richie Thomas, a former member of bands including Dif Juz and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Calling themselves Lost Horizons, they feature nearly as many guest vocalists as tracks on the 15-song release, titled Ojalá (Spanish for "hopefully"). With Raymonde having already demonstrated his good ear with his label, the duo handpicked a compelling group of nuanced voices for the album, including ex-Midlake frontman Tim Smith, Lanterns on the Lake's Hazel Wilde, and Marissa Nadler.
Lost Horizons is Bella Union founder/ex-Cocteau Twins bassist Simon Raymonde and drummer Richie Thomas (of 80s experimental punks Dif Juz, among other things). It's 15 tracks of beautifully rich mood music and for a record with so many guests (and a fairly diverse sound) it makes for a seamless, beautifully realised whole. Not surprisingly, perhaps, it has the glistening, dizzying melancholy of a Cocteau Twins album, albeit without Robin Guthrie's trademark ethereal guitar.
Bella Union label owner and Cocteau Twins bassist, Simon Raymonde, emerges from behind the shop counter with a former label-mate and frequent collaborator, Dif Juz percussionist Richie Thomas, to helm an album of rare beauty. Not bad for a pair who have been musically all but silent for 20 years (bar Raymonde's dalliance as Snowbird with Stephanie Dosen in 2014, and Thomas's work as touring/session drummer). Lost Horizons is a project bound to draw comparisons to 4AD owner Ivo Watts-Russell's 'supergroup/art project' This Mortal Coil.
Fashioned out of a musical bond formed during the days when their bands shared the same eclectic label 4AD, Lost Horizons consists of Simon Raymonde (ex-bassist of Cocteau Twins) and Richie Thomas (ex-drummer of Dif Juz). Decades later Raymonde is directing his own label, Bella Union, which boasts such notable acts as Beach House, Dirty Three, Explosions in the Sky, and The Walkmen. Unfortunately, Bella Union is not as unfailing a label as 4AD once was and Ojalá proves the point.