It’s not often you find a husband and wife duo come together to make an album as endearing and soothing as the self-titled debut from Lost Chimes. Combining sounds similar to “Oh Hellos” and “Oh Wonder” the pair has put together a compellingly cohesive folk pop project that is an immensely pleasurable listen.
Last year, they release a cover of what can be described to me as an all time personal favourite track – Joy Division’s iconic ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. Reimagining the British rock anthem, Lost Chimes transformed the garage rock energy of the original into a serenading folk anthem. Gemma Kirk’s vocal performance on this track is simply magical, somehow taking a chorus that is so firmly ingrained into my mind and making me attach a whole new set of meanings to it. Nicky’s guitar in the background, simultaneously eerie and illuminating is the perfect compliment to his wife’s voice.
Predictably then, I was eager to hear the rest of the project after such a magnificent cover. The result was more than impressive, a perfectly enjoyable 40 minute album to soothe the senses. All in all, the project offers an imaginative escape into a wholly immersive folk soundscape, one that is populated with classic folk topics – that of life, death, hope, and loss.
The opening track, Island, had its video released in March of this year. Filled with fantastical imagery, it’s a truly mesmerising, almost hypnotic, visual experience. It’s the ideal opener, immediately giving the listener a clear idea of what the project is going to be filled with. A homely and hopeful piece, it’s a mollifying 4 minute ode. Immediately, the vibe takes a slightly more assertive tone in ‘Voices’. Here the strumming is more pronounced and Gemma’s voice is more dominating.
But to me, the stand out is the penultimate piece of the album. ‘Let It Go (Dogs)’ is eerie, dark, yet strangely purgative. The same energy that the pair radiates on their Joy Division cover is meticulously reworked into their own original piece here. The stripped back and subtly sedative sonance is simply unparalleled.
It’s important to also note that the project was recorded with the assistance of the pair’s long-term collaborator and engineer, the late John Hannon. In the pair’s own words, “John significantly helped to create a sound and vision for their debut and also performed violin, clarinet and additional instrumentation on the album.”
For those who enjoy dabbling in folk music, particularly the type driven by more meditative and eerie feel rather than a poppy one, Lost Chime’s self titled debut project is the perfect listening experience.