A blissful mixture of many different voices
On part one of their double album In Quiet Moments, Lost Horizons are ready to promote hope. In Quiet Moments, Part 1 follows the duo’s 2017 inaugural release, Ojalá, which translates to hopefully or god willing in Spanish. While In Quiet Moments introduces a slightly more melancholy tone, the hopeful energy and inclusion of several guest features on that record has continued here.
This 16-track project is jam-packed with unbelievable talent, including features on every track from the likes of Kavi Kawi, Laura Groves, John Grant and so many more. The band has stated that this album gave them the hope they needed to continue creating music after an extended hiatus, and this hopefulness shines through on single “Every Beat That Passed” featuring Kavi Kawi’s calming yet powerful voice. The band preaches that no matter how bleak the world may seem, with hope, new growth can come; lyrics like “Can you feel your blood running?/ It reminds one of life” emphasize the importance of pain and disappointment in the journey towards better times. With the beautiful and free-flowing nature of this track, its sense of warmth and calm and a truly powerful hook, it’s hard to imagine a better linchpin for the project.
Another album highlight guaranteed to end up on repeat is “Unraveling In Slow Motion,” featuring the stunning voice of Ren Harvieu. It’s a truly masterful song, drawing the listener in with swelling strings and key changes from beautiful majors to striking minor tones, only made even more potent and effective by Harvieu’s breathtaking vocals. It ruminates on the importance of female freedom—that a woman’s growth or slow unfolding is “hers and hers alone.”
“Linger,” featuring the voice of Gemma Dunleavy, starts with a drifting airy piano. When Gemma’s voice enters, it, well, lingers. Staying suspended and hanging on each word as she sings, flowing through the speakers. It’s the most haunting song on the record, starting with lines like “I pull back my eyelids…try to let some light in,” creating an almost uneasy and careful serenity as the hook creates other harmonies, ringing beautifully in each ear.
“Heart of a Hummingbird,” featuring the sweet voice of KookieLou, then moves the album back to a more overtly positive place. There is a pure sweetness in this song that lifts and warms as it explores the love and connection that can develop between two hearts, as long as you don’t fight that feeling. KooieLou’s voice envelopes the listener, making anyone happy to get lost in their feels. The song still carries that melancholy tone in the verses just a bit, making it the perfect combination of happiness and nervousness.
In a lush vocal soundscape, John Grant features his talent on the track “Cordelia, ” which is full of blissful swells of guitar, violin and piano. Though it creates a relaxing array of sounds, the notes teeter on the edge of almost off-key that adds a slight uneasiness as well. Continuing the larger soundscape tone is “Nobody Knows My Name” featuring the talents of C Duncan. One difference standing out between the songs is “Nobody Knows My Name” has the addition of drums adding a new element to the soundscape. The drums create the rhythm of someone walking away from troubles around asking to “take me back to nowhere where no one knows my name.”
Another popular single that got some attention is “Grey Tower” featuring Tim Smith’s elegant vocals. This track has an interesting mixture of modern-day indie and an 80s indie, with Smith’s vocal reminiscing a slightly deeper version of the popular ’80s group Naked Eyes.
Lost Horizons members Simon Raymonde and Richard Thomas may have spent a good long while away from creating music, but with In Quiet Moments, Part 1, the pair came back on their A-game. This album is filled with soaring swells, beautiful musicianship and stunning vocals by many brilliant singers. While each track carries its own distinct message, the idea of hope enduring through even the darkest of times flows effortlessly throughout the entire record. On In Quiet Moments, Part 1, Lost Horizons have certainly made a compelling case for the existence of (and excitement for) a Part 2, which is set to release in late February this coming year.