Album review: Iamthemorning, ‘Lighthouse’

lighthouse_coverArtist: Iamthemorning
Album: Lighthouse
Our Verdict: 9/10
Release date: Out now
Find it at: Bandcamp
Review by: Graeme Blackwell

Iamthemorning return with their new album: a heartrending, important and profound work

Iamthemorning’s new album, Lighthouse, is a heartbreaking work of staggering beauty. In it the Russian duo of vocalist Marjana Semkina and pianist Gleb Kolyadin have created a suite of music that coheres in a deeply compassionate and empathetic way around the story of their central protagonist, a character navigating the depths of an unspecified mental illness.

The pair’s third full length studio album, and first for British label Kscope, Lighthouse sees Semkina and Kolyadin drawing on elements of progressive rock, folk, jazz and chamber music to create a poignant soundscape that successfully captures the wide spectrum of emotion and states of being that come with such illnesses, outwardly conveying with grace and humanity what is often an unseen inner journey.

The album’s lyrics having been inspired by the life and works of Virginia Woolf (as well as Sylvia Plath), a foreboding watery theme permeates every aspect of Lighthouse’s being. From the exquisitely rendered cover art depicting a lighthouse positioned on a precarious outcrop and set against the overwhelming power of a tumultuous ocean, through the sound of crashing waves that open the album and on through the at-times-bubbling, at-times-churning piano motifs of the music, nature’s most life-giving and yet destructive force is all-pervading.

Mindful that both Woolf and Plath suffered with life-long mental illnesses and that both committed suicide, Lighthouse offers no easy resolution or fragile, feel-good comfort for either its central character or listeners. Those seeking a narrative that ends bathed in a warm and simple light will not find their solace here. That said, this complex sonic odyssey is not without moments of levity and good humour.

In so skilfully telling the complex story of a character who ultimately succumbs to the darkness of their difference, and in doing so with such understanding, empathy and tenderness, Iamthemorning have created an album that is arresting, heartrending, important and profound.

Connect with Iamthemorning at:
Facebook: facebook.com/iamthemorningpage
Twitter: twitter.com/themorningband
Web: iamthemorningband.bandcamp.com

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Iamthemorning stream new album ‘Lighthouse’ in full

iamthemorning-2

Russian duo iamthemorning are streaming their new album, Lighthouse, in full.

The record is set for release tomorrow, the 1st of April, via Kscope.

Gleb Kolyadin and vocalist Marjana Semkina say of the album: “Lighthouse is a rich and eclectic album, with echoes of classical music, the Canterbury scene, northern folk, jazz and electronic sounds.

“Featuring a story of the progression of mental illness, the album takes the listener through the stages with the story’s central character, her attempts to fight it, temporal remission leading to a final breakdown.

“Lyrically, the works and lives of Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath inspire the album.”

You can listen to the full album now over at Prog magazine’s website.

Iamthemorning recently released a video for album track “Chalk And Coal.”

The tracklist for Lighthouse is:

lighthouse_cover01. “I Came Before the Water (pt. I)”
02. “Too Many Years”
03. “Clear Clearer”
04. “Sleeping Pills”
05. “Libretto Horror”
06. “Lighthouse” (feat. Mariusz Duda)
07. “Harmony”
08. “Matches”
09. “Belighted”
10. “Chalk And Coal”
11. “I Came Before the Water (pt. II)”
12. “Post Scriptum”

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Russian progressive duo iamthemorning share lyric video for ‘Chalk And Coal’ ahead of new album

iamthemorning-2

Russian progressive duo iamthemorning have released a new lyric video for the song “Chalk And Coal”, taken from their forthcoming Kscope album Lighthouse, due to be released on the 1st of April (3rd of June in France.)

Vocalist Marjana Semkina comments on the song: “‘Chalk And Coal’ is in a way a final milestone on the album. It is the darkest one and in a way it is very representative for Lighthouse in general, since it is a very cross-genre piece of music that eventually turns into something rather eclectic.

“Some dark jazz influence in used diminished chords and trumpet solo, glitched drums, all of that is rather new for us. Mood-wise it was inspired by David Bowie’s ‘Sue (Or In a Season of Crime)’. Lyrically it represents the final twist of the album story-line, the final breakdown.”

Formed in 2010 in St Petersburg, iamthemorning features pianist Gleb Kolyadin and the charismatic vocals of Marjana Semkina. The band self released their debut album in 2012 before signing to Kscope and releasing Belighted, their first record for the label in September 2014. They toured Europe with label-mates Gazpacho last year.

As with Belighted, the engineering and mixing on Lighthouse is handled by Marcel van Limbeek (Tori Amos) and self produced by Gleb and Marjana. The album also features guest musicians Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson) on drums, Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) on bass and additional vocals on the album’s title track by Mariusz Duda (Lunatic Soul, Riverside).

You can watch the video for “Chalk And Coal” via the stream below. Lighthouse is released on the 1st of April in the UK and the 3rd of June in France via Kscope records.

The tracklist for Lighthouse is:

lighthouse_cover01. “I Came Before the Water (pt. I)”
02. “Too Many Years”
03. “Clear Clearer”
04. “Sleeping Pills”
05. “Libretto Horror”
06. “Lighthouse” (feat. Mariusz Duda)
07. “Harmony”
08. “Matches”
09. “Belighted”
10. “Chalk And Coal”
11. “I Came Before the Water (pt. II)”
12. “Post Scriptum”

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Richie Sambora had “no freedom” in Bon Jovi

Richie Sambora 2014

Richie Sambora has been speaking out in a radio interview following his departure from Bon Jovi last year.

Speaking to Rock Radio NI ahead of a solo European tour, Sambora explained that he felt a lack of freedom to express himself musically as part of Bon Jovi.

“There’s freedom there, obviously,” the guitarist said. “That’s one of the main things I was missing in music over the past years – and also in Bon Jovi, actually. There wasn’t enough room to improvise, to have that moment where you can actually lose yourself musically.”

He also revealed that he is working on a new solo project with his touring guitarist, Orianthi. “What I’ve done is assemble an amazing group of musicians. I asked the guys in my band to express themselves and bring all the input they can. The process of songwriting is easier than it’s been in a long time… The songs are just coming out of me right now – I just keep writing and writing,” he says. “I always felt there was some kind of nobility centred in my desire and passion for what I do. I still have that, I think I have it even more now.”

“I’m loving music right now. I feel like I’m 15,” he said.

There was a flurry of drama last year after Sambora pulled out of a leg of Bon Jovi’s world tour just hours before it was due to begin. A series of claims and counter-claims emerged from both the Sambora and Bon Jovi camps, but the guitarist has always claimed that he will rejoin the band in the future.

Meanwhile Sambora released a new song, “Lighthouse”, last month to benefit a planned New Jersey drug rehabilitation centre. Speaking of his own addictions Sambora said: “I got firsthand experience. I never did heroin, but obviously I did other stuff. We can’t be scared silent. Together we can make a difference because this epidemic has to stop.”

“I wanted to do something optimistic, a beacon of light and hope. Everyone needs that light when they’re far off the shore.”

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