Race The Loser
The awards are proof that Lau are one of the most thrilling live bands in the UK. With Race The Loser, they're now one of our most thrilling studio bands as well. This is music of such stunning creativity that it keeps the listener guessing as to what track, what phrase, what individual note can possibly be coming next. Saint Monday sets the artistic agenda: Kris Drever's voice is here as much an integrated instrument as his guitar, Martin Green's accordion or Aidan O'Rourke's fiddle, all four elements worked into a folk tune that draws on both the freedom of jazz improvisation and the solid textures of classical chamber music. Personal favourites include the heavy groove of Far From Portland, the poignant lyrics of Throwing Pennies, the suddenly sweet instrumental harmonies that follow the opening lines of Save The Bees (and the peppery accordion solo that follows that). Lau's inventive arrangements don't swamp the sound with electronic effects; instead, technology carries tradition forward into the next phase of folk.