After a string of emotionally wrenching singles, The Last Clouds’ first album, Illuminism, has finally arrived. Bringing with it proclamative liberation from the idea that alienation makes you an outlier in 2023.
Short of being prescribed a trip to the seaside with a bottle of laudanum. I couldn’t think of a better way to find sanctity as our era is epitomised by the descent of truth, meaning, refuge, and connection.
With poetically forlorn lyrics that push the chill of modernity through light and dark malleable elements to reflect our increasingly arduous associations with our disunited society, the LP kicks off to a phenomenal start with track 1, Becoming.
Track 2, Origin, is instrumentally reminiscent of the latest LP offering from Editors. While Matt Schott endeavours with his harbingering vocal lines that effortlessly gel with the turbulently distorted bass around the scintillatingly futuristic synths.
Track 3, Empty Room, starts with a cinematically cavernous ambience to set a tone of Lynchian isolation before the interstellar lyricism drifts across the detachment-reflective instrumentals that are pushed far enough back in the mix to conceptualise the titular allusion.
Track 4, Earth’s Light, starts with an arcane neo-classic electronica score before bursting into a fervid outpour of future pop; the ardent backbeat rails through the reverb as the vocals and lyrics run through in a similar visceral vain to Nova by VNV Nation.
In the same way War of the Worlds is an apocalyptic narration of the end of the world, track 5, Turnpike, chronicles the uncertainty that perturbs even the most resilient minds as we anticipate the future after the everyday disasters we have numbed ourselves to through over-exposure.
Track 6, Another Way to Fall, is a ruminative masterpiece. Rich with romanticism and abjection in equal measure. Definitively proving that few things are true in this world without bitter-sweet duality.
The previously released single, Damage, is by far one of the most poetic accounts of the repercussions of living in a post-truth era I will probably ever hear. The Covenant-ESQUE synths give way to an exposition of how far the mainstream media is willing to let us sink under divisive propaganda.
The concluding single, Fog of Lies, is another sonically disassociated depiction of where we collectively lie in a society that is as glitchy as the artfully jarring orchestration. It’s the perfect continuation from Damage, which will undoubtedly be the most poignant aural memento of how we came to disaffectedly be.
Considering that protests are now effectively banned, this is as close was we are going to get to objection. The fear-encompassing LP is a boldly vulnerable dissent against the forces that are working together in perfect design to welcome us to our worse than Orwellian future. For your own sake, get your resonance fill from it.
Illuminism will officially release on January 20th. Hear it on all major platforms via this link.
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Review by Amelia Vandergast