Laish – Obituaries
The first thing anyone will notice upon playing Obituaries, the second album from Brighton folk rockers Laish, is frontman Daniel Green’s luscious voice. It is probably the most graceful and gentle voice to come out of the Willkommen Collective for at least the last five years. This is the driving force of both the album and the band.
Obits is the exemplifier: with an intro consisting of only sombre woodwind, it isn’t until about a minute in that Green makes an appearance, but when he does the mood of the song completely changes and the listener is gripped. The song itself (and the later revisit in the form of the title track) simply tells of the protagonist’s morning routine (“he reads the obituaries while he drinks his morning tea”) – and it’s this simplicity featuring across the album that makes it such a good listening experience.
The lightly humorous backdrop to the sometimes sad themes is a major attraction for Obituaries. Standout track Carry Me is a perfect example, and shows how brilliant the quintet’s writing is. They present the themes of the pain and danger of love as well as the determination and loyalty that it creates through the funny and heart-warming tale of a regretful horse and a love-struck penguin who meet by chance and bond over their past and present relationships. The friendship struck up by the two and the journey they take is perfectly narrated by Green’s warming voice and a blend of electric guitar, drums, violins and flutes, alongside beautiful female backing vocals. The song shows Green’s capacity for livelier material: whereas elsewhere on the album songs are delivered at a slow, almost stopping pace (especially on Closer), here Green weaves his tale of love quickly enough to move the story along, while keeping the listener engaged.
Laish have created a series of heart-wrenching, well-conceived songs that make up an overall brilliant, tender album with a universal calm. Hopefully it will not be too long before their next output.
Obituaries was released on 25th March 2013.
Watch the video for Carry Me here: