When a band’s first release is “highly anticipated,” their fans have already clung to their sound, connected to the signature melodies, and memorised lyrics to the first few songs that initially emerged from bedroom sessions. Thus is Lacuna by Childhood, the London four-piece that wooed unknowing ears attending The Great Escape last year and packed that Blind Tiger gig with people who were already addicted to “Solemn Skies” and “Blue Velvet”.
Those breezy first tunes released in 2012 and 2013 are part of this new Lacuna full-length, remixed and remastered with added pedal action and layered effects, feeding our hungry souls while taking the listener on a roller coaster ride of emotion, from tranquil ecstasy to bouncing elation.
Ben Romans-Hopcraft croons his way into our hearts, with “Right Beneath Me” whipping its sails along a glassy lake on it’s way to Twin Peaks. “Tides” glistens with flecks of swirling keyboard, diving deep into a groove state that would make Barry White jealous.
Childhood have perfected the ability to put the listener into a trance, as if you’ve had some kind of mushroom on your way to a tea party with Alice. There’s no denying the psychedelic nature of “You Could Be Different”, but the band also slides in a bit of Motown vocal harmonies. And along those lines, “As I Am” is drenched in romantic tomes, sans the men fashioned in velvet suits, dancing in unison in the background.
For those who have caught some of their shows, you’ve experienced the live versions of “When You Rise”, “Solemn Skies” and “Pay For Cool”, as Ben, Leo Dobsen (guitar), Jonny Williams (drums), and Daniel Salamons (bass) inject liquid nitrogen into every guitar line, pedal push, and drum beat, with Ben at times thrashing about as if he’s on fire. Pushing these songs past their breaking points on stage closes the desired loop of a wonderfully crafted record in Lacuna, with a live show that leaves you breathless.
To add icing on the cake, the guys definitely have a sense of humour, as seen in the watch-by-numbers approach to the latest video for “As I Am”, the perfect imperfection resonating throughout the film and as the essence of the song, or the tour video showing the guys in their element on the road, featuring “Pinballs”, a track that appears on the limited Speedy Wunderground 7″.
I expect that those first few 7” single releases for “Blue Velvet” and Solemn Skies” are now coveted collector’s items, fetching a pretty pence on eBay. As these warm, sunny summer days turn gray and cold, these Lacuna gems old (by a few years) and new will be worth their weight in gold, keeping our spirits high even with winter whipping at our backs.
See Childhood play Oslo Hackney tonight before they dash off to Japan for the weekend for Summer Sonic, then back again for the last of the summer festivals, Bestival and Repperbahn in September.