It’s been more than eight months since the world was turned upside down. In-and-out of quarantine. Navigating COVID-safe restrictions. An uncertain world. The ground shifting under our feet. And it remains so.
A good time for an introspection, one thinks. Reinvention, maybe? It certainly was so for Void’s fave local indie-electronic duo LANNDS. Swiss-army knife musician-producers Rania Woodard and Brian Squillace threw an entire album’s worth of recorded material into the digital waste basket in early 2020. They leaned into an uncertain world, embracing new stimuli–new directions–and cranked out a completely different collection of songs, wrapping up the recording during round one of quarantine this past summer.
The result? A dynamic and intricate six-song collection called lotus.
“If you are familiar with our old sh**, you may notice a shift in the style and sound,” the duo said in a press release marking the album drop. “The lotus flower represents rebirth and growth. We want to live with no borders.”
LANNDS was already widely known to embrace experimentation. And on lotus, while its sonic signature remains in-tact, if there’s a thread that ties the album’s six disparate tracks together, it’s Woodard and Squillace’s confidence, which resonates with each percussive sample and whirls around each track’s unique atmospherics. There’s a conviction to the collection that’s both evident and infectious.
LANNDS storms the gates from the jump, with the punchy “ninety four,” a track that’s buoyed by wonderfully strange, but totally appropriate vocal samples, rich textures and, perhaps, the coolest chest-thumping lyrics we’ve heard in a minute. Track two “peaks” provides a dynamic valley, slowing things down atop some tasteful and melodic bass lines, before “o.o.w.,” a multiplex and hooky-as-hell banger changes the tempo both within the song and for the album as a whole. Things slow down again, in a good way, for “not in a good way,” an earthy, ambient bedroom-pop affair that bleeds nicely into another tempo-changer “oh brother.”
The album’s title track “lotus” rounds out the collection with a catchy hook about getting high, more wonderfully gelatinous vocal samples, and some of the most interesting percussive samples on a record chock full of ’em.
“We really wanted to free ourselves up and set the precedent that we’re going to be forever changing,” the band says of what could arguably be called a departure record. If this is what the earth shifting under LANNDS’s feet sounds like, we’ll enthusiastically embrace the subsequent tremors and after shocks.
For now, we encourage you to hold on tight and click play on Lotus.