Saturday, December 17, 2011


The London indie-folk five-piece formed by ex-Fanfarlo guitarist Mark West return with their second release of the year after July’s ‘Desert Tracks’ single (the song also included amongst these four tracks). This EP follows The Lost Cavalry's 2010 debut “Waves Freeze To Rolling Hills” and continues that record’s blueprint of weaving delicate strings and chimes with a more robust guitar, bass and drums set-up to create cleverly orchestrated alt-folk mini-dramas but here adding an extra globe-trotting dimension. So “Snow City Radio” takes us from Arctic outposts to a sunken city via Namibian diamond mines shifting locations with the surety and speed of a quality international short story collection.

The title track tells of a polar radio station team about to dig in for the frozen winter not sure if either anyone is listening to their transmissions or what the winter will bring but sounding positively cheerful about their precarious fate. The upbeat mood is continued on the even more serious war-torn ‘Desert Tracks’ (which I wrote about back in July).

The other two songs on the EP are darker in tone. The twitchy and tense ‘The Tower’, with its sinister cymbal crashes and edgy strummed guitar, tells of a secretive world where people are tracked by robotic cameras. Its sense of paranoia and suspicion peaks in some delirious and stark sheet-metal guitar noise. ‘The Flood’ is equally elliptical but suggests a drowned post-apocalyptic cityscape ("the ground floors of buildings where we now keep our boats”) but again positivity shines through in the massed la-la-la singalong finale.

“Snow City Radio” is similar in texture and tone to their first EP but has a clear hint of extra confidence and swagger about it. I continue to be nothing but impressed with The Lost Cavalry. They seem to be drawn to extreme locations or incidents but are richly equipped, like an indie-folk Swiss Army Knife, with endlessly optimistic and highly melodic survival tactics.

The Tower by The Lost Cavalry

The Lost Cavalry Snow City Radio [BUY]

No comments: