Lost practices, hidden worlds, secret topics - Landshapes shift around the dark, magical borders of alternative culture, soaking up poetry and peccadillos, high art and low desires. On their second album, Heyoon, released on Bella Union, Landshapes explore everything from a 17th Century tale about migratory space geese; tragic Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader who died on a failed Atlantic crossing, the desire to inhabit another’s psyche and nights out at drag bars. With Landshapes, anything could happen.
Previously Lulu And The Lampshades, 2012 saw them accrue a wealth of guitar pedals, a fascination for mind-expanding noise and, following a mis-billing in Paris, a new name: Landshapes. 2013 debut Rambutan was a voyage of discovery as they hunted out this elusive new soundscape. Electronics clashed with traditional shanties, eastern atmospherics met spaghetti western overtones, nothing was out-of-bounds.
New album Heyoon is astounding, both sonically and thematically. If you want to take the highbrow road through this dense maelstrom of psychedelic math-fuzz beauty, then focus on the lustrous, unsettling lounge drone of "Fire." A reflection of a Lydia Davis story called "Forbidden Subjects," the track documents a post-break up friendship. There’s a rich seam of break-up philosophy running through Heyoon. The Lynchian torch-gaze of "Red Kite" concerns “still feeling deeply affected by a past relationship, but putting that neatly, and tenderly in a box so that you can move on.” The untamed, carnival-whirling pop of "Ader" recalls tragic visual artist Bas Jan Ader, whose work still remains unexplained following his death in a little sailboat, alone on the Atlantic.
Wallow in the bass-fuelled end of Heyoon and you’ll embrace the stampeding thunk-punk of opener "Stay," a booty-call set to music that shape-shifts into a post-orgasmic bliss dream in its second half. Then there’s the sultry Gallic trembles of "Francois," a courage song exploring gender with luring verses coaxing someone to go out, go to a party and be themselves. Brooding, beautiful, haunted and occasionally barbarous, Heyoon is a record about secret, hidden things, right down to its title, a mispronunciation of a secret pavilion hidden in the woods of south-east Michigan, near Ann Arbor.
Landshapes Heyoon Track Listing:
6. Lone Wolf
7. Red Kite
9. Red Electric Love Fern