Release Date: Jan 18, 2019
Record label: Mute
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Lost Under Heaven's debut, 2016's Songs for Spiritual Lovers to Sing, was the sound of Manchester-bred singer/songwriter Ellery James Roberts and Dutch singer/songwriter/visual artist Ebony Hoorn having fallen in love and willfully drowned themselves in artful sonic euphoria. With their sophomore album, 2019's cathartic Love Hates What You Become, the couple rise to the crashing reality of living in the wake of that love and the realization that simply finding your soulmate doesn't fix your life, your emotional health, or the world around you. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer John Congleton and Swans drummer Thor Harris, Love Hates What You Become is a devastatingly affecting album, built deftly around the duo's yin and yang vocals with Roberts' tortured, throaty yawp coolly contrasted by Hoorn's flat, Marlene Dietrich-in-Doc Martens delivery.
Within the first few seconds of Lost Under Heaven's music video for 'For the Wild,' the closing track off their latest album titled Love Hates What You Become, a slowly disappearing epigraph reads "I would burn my right hand in a slow fire/ To change the future... I should do so foolishly." Though the words of eco-poet Robinson Jeffers' pass through the video in the blink of an eye, it's underlying message reverberates as the lifeblood through the entirety of LUH's sophomore release. Lifted from Jeffers' 1935 poem titled 'Rearmament', these words reflect upon futility and the inevitable destruction of humanity.
For the entirety of his time in music to date, Ellery Roberts has patently fancied himself as a bit of an enigma; between their guerrilla live ethic and obstinate engagement with publicity, his old band WU LYF made mystery their calling card, and the moment that they began to shift shape into something more orthodox, he abruptly departed. After a while in the wilderness, he returned two years ago, with he and his girlfriend Ebony Hoorn having crafted Lost Under Heaven in a similar aesthetic to early WU LYF. The rolling drama of their stirring debut 'Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing' came accompanied by oblique manifestos that hinted at radically progressive politics to complement the self-described 'future blues' on the record, which apparently stylistically involved everything from simmering piano drama ('I&I') to thumping dystopian rave ('$ORO').
The Manchester duo Lost Under Heaven, or LUH, have never been keen on subtlety. Super-sized in every dimension, the music of former WU LYF leader Ellery Roberts and visual artist Ebony Hoorn sought grand answers about love and mortality by way of drastic melodies on their 2016 debut, Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing. They haven't downsized for Love Hates What You Become, a 10-track set that finds Roberts and Hoorn blowing out every sentiment, string sample, and crescendo while investigating larger-than-life characters and existential dilemmas.
"To the powers of old, to the powers that be. You have fucked up this world but you will not fuck with me." This is a line from Lost Under Heaven's debut record 'Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing' - created by partners Ellery James Roberts and Ebony Hoorn, it was an album crammed with a vast amount of ideas that, under normal circumstances, would collapse under its own ambition. However throughout its wondrously crafted chaos, it was a record that acted as a beacon of light for those seeking solace in these ever diminishing times.