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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 September 2011
Bruce Springsteen once wrote a song that was so breathily beautiful that it drew the listener in and with its acoustic guitar and atmospherics it just eased away the worries of the day. That song was Secret Garden. Imagine a whole album of that kind of intense beauty and arrangements and you are close to the wonder of Gracious Tide, Take Me Home. Acoustic guitars, beautiful arrangements and an overall feeling of joy - that's what this album delivers in spades. There are occasional electronic swashes lots of strings but remember that Bruce Springsteen track because that's the sound and feeling here.

The two vocal parts just counterpart each other well and leave you loving a different track each time you listen. The only real departure from the airy and beautiful approach is A Kingdom which sounds a little like Arcade Fire and still works. Although if you want to compare it to anyone then Sigur Ros might be a decent bet. The crackles and background noises here add to the feel of the album and the atmospherics.

Overall this is going to be album of the year contender. It grows on each listen and it has the kind of beauty and heartfelt honesty that's been lacking in some offerings this year. This deserves to be heard.
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on 25 October 2011
Lanterns on the Lake are a musical sextet from Newcastle whose sound draws on elements of various bands and artists from the quirky folk of Tunng, the languid romanticism of Mazzy Star and the atmospheric, slowed down post-rock of Sigur Ros. The single word that springs to mind when listening to "Gracious Tide, Take Me Home" is "beautiful" ; from the precise and painstaking development of songs like the excellent opening "Lungs Quicken" to the beautifully delivered and constructed lyrics of singer Hazel Wilde (whose breathy, languid style is highly reminiscent of that of Hope Sandoval) beauty seeps from every pore of this album.

The arrangement is everything in these songs and whilst they might possibly just about stand up if strummed on an acoustic guitar because of the loveliness of Wilde's voice, the songwriting itself does not seem substantial but is wonderfully augmented by reverb-drenched piano, keyboards and guitar borrowed straight from Disintegration era Cure (especially on "If I've Been Unkind"). The combined effect of these elements is wonderful and dreamlike with an intimacy that draws the listener close and makes the album seem to stop time as it drifts by. If there is a slight (very slight) criticism of the album it could be that it suffers from the old Cocteau Twins curse of being a little too sugar-sweet : this listener at least longed for a little edge that never materialised.

Finally, it's worth noting that this is effectively a series of home recordings. The album was recorded in the homes of band members but music technology in 2011 is such that the listener would never guess that it wasn't a full studio effort.

Great stuff, highly recommended for fans of the bands mentioned above and perhaps for followers of Laura Gibson, Musee Mechanique, Cowboy Junkies and Low.
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on 1 October 2015
Wow! This is one of the most beautiful records I have ever heard / owned. If your looking at this then you have probably already heard something online or had a recommendation. It's really difficult to review an album as its all about perception. I personally totally dig these multi layered chilled an super emotional bands and this record is all killer and no filler. Similar to the dreamy sounds of bands like Antlers etc. Just stream a little now and you'll be clicking buy on this soon. Truly outstanding record and came with a CD copy for the car. Awesome.
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on 30 May 2015
Fabulous debut album, all eleven songs beautifully crafted, ethereal, dreamy & rhythmic . 'The Lanterns' - I acknowledge my discovery of them to the great Gideon coe on R6- may find it difficult to replicate this & will be unlikely to make a better album. Lets hope peaking so soon doesn't prove their undoing. Highlights- in an album of no dud tracks mind- include the epic 'Tricks', followed by 'Sleepyhead' with its wonderful multiple violin based backing. Buy or order from your local record store preferably, as I did ; and then fully appreciate this addition to the not always trumpeted musical heritage of the North East & Tyneside
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on 4 April 2013
I bought this on the strength of an Amazon recommendation, based on my previous buys and searches. Well, Amazon got it spot on this time. This is one of those rare discoveries that come out of nowhere and have a huge impact on your musical landscape.

Musically it is mostly laid back and ethereal, but there are also moments of wonderful intensity. The overall feeling is quite melancholic - but such a beautiful, gripping melancholy!

There are hints of post-rock (a la Sigur Ros), contemporary indie-folk and Cocteau Twins-y textures. And the fact it is on Bella Union also gives an indication of what to expect.

Basically it's lovely - buy it!
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on 17 July 2012
I am so glad I came across this CD as it is a worthy contender for anyone's collection. There are plenty of atmospherics and deep, meaningful northern miserablism to keep most people happy of a certain ilk (me included, obviously).

It's reminiscent in parts of Sigur Ros's sonic landscapes as well as the breathy female singing that was a significant part of Prefab Sprout's distinctive sound.

Buy!
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on 26 January 2013
I rarely feel compelled to write music reviews but I really want to let the world know how fantastic this album is. I know little about the band and took a punt on purchasing, looking for some "new music" and noticing that one of their influences is Sigur Ros, a favourite band of mine.

The influence is in the music (although nowhere near as post-rock, obscure and ethereal as S.R. have become) but this is a beautiful understated work with two excellent vocalists and well judged peaks and troughs of music ranging from epic, grand to quiet, contemplative.

I think there is a huge future for this band- they may not be doing any new, possibly derivative of others (who's not?) but I can't think of any doing this type of music as well. I hope they tour near the South-West soon...
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on 9 April 2016
Bloody good.
I am 48 and have many hundreds of CDs.
I like this a lot.
It makes me think of Mazzy Star (a little), but popped up, in a good way.
I have bought other albums from them due to enjoiyng this.
Also enjoyed them.
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on 3 February 2016
The first of their full-length albums and they have set the bar sky-high. Gentle and dreamy with the odd upbeat song dotted throughout, there is not a bad track on this album. A Kingdom was the most widely publicised song and this version is rockier that the first version I heard way back when. Both versions are excellent with the original available on EP. Couldn't recommend Lanterns on the Lake highly enough
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on 8 October 2011
drift away in refletion on the waves of sound while being gently guided back to reality by amazing words. catch them live if you can, breath-taking stuff.
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