Like numerous other, similarly diverse acts, Lazarus Kane’s emergence through hallowed label Speedy Wunderground – via the vibrant bewilderment of Narcissus, a refreshing exploration into the superficiality of modern life – sent earthquake-like jolts through alternative music. The arrival of the gripping ‘Night Walking’ further illustrated the blurry space the band occupied between sincerity and irony; high-concept performance art and sardonic provocation. Wherever they lie at any point, the six-piece remain elusive of the industry-specific expectations many others stick to.
Latest offering Williston, ND is just as confounding, both topically and musically. As frantic howls of the small US town which – as frontman Ben Jakes found – experienced a “…huge oil boom…” adorn the track, the grinding, motorik-y guitar and percussion interplay viscerally recreates the “…pictures of the fracking equipment at night lit by neon lights on these sprawling prairies…”. Reading about this “town in the USA” was the unlikely inspiration behind the powerfully excoriating single: a modern, aural ‘There Will Be Blood’, delivered with stark instrumentation and disco elements in tow.
‘Williston, ND’, as well as the previously released ‘Milk At My Door’, offer a taste of Lazarus Kane’s long-awaited debut EP ‘Psychobabble’. The insanely discombobulating circumstances of the past 18 months sees a new chapter for the band and their persona of old; frontman and vocalist/guitarist Ben Jakes admits that it would be “…disingenuous to continue the character with the current state of the world. Instead, I wanted to really hold a mirror to the often darkly comedic and surreal ways in which we deal with difficult situations, especially within our often extremely comfortable, materially focused and self-absorbed lives”. The forthcoming EP was born from these new angles, modelled around an ever-characterful wheel of inspirations such as Eno, Cluster, and features of 80’s hardcore. As with the sprawling strut of Narcissus, Psychobabble is a musical endeavour that keeps the listener guessing with every step.
Psychobabble is out September 10th, on So Young’s brand-new label. Pre-order here.
Lazarus Kane have also announced a string of tour dates, alongside festival dates at Wide Awake and
03.09 London, Wide Awake
04.09 Dorset, End of the Road
18.09 Leicester, Wide Eyed
20.10 Brighton, Latest Music Bar – Tickets
22.10 Birkenhead, Future Yard – Tickets
23.10 York, Slow Education – Tickets
24.10 Manchester, The White Hotel – Tickets
25.10 Newcastle, The Tyne Bar – Free Entry
26.10 Cambridge, Portland Arms – Tickets
27.10 London, Bussey Building – Tickets
28.10 Bristol, Strange Brew – Tickets
30.10 Amsterdam, London Calling – Tickets