Lau is British folk band from both Scotland and England formed in 2005, named after Orcadian word meaning "natural light." The band comprises Kris Drever (vocals, guitar), Martin Green (accordion, wurlitzer, keys, electronics) and Aidan O’Rourke (fiddle) and together they effortlessly bridge the seemingly diametrically opposed worlds of acoustic folk tradition and post rock – electronics. A decade on, Lau are fearless innovators, festival curators (Lau-Land) a band that simply never stand still. Kris Drever, Aidan O’Rourke and Martin Green also create some of the best music being made anywhere in any genre. Being declared the Best band on BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards on four occasions only proves their uniqueness.
The fusion of trad and electronics is clearly demonstrated in the opening track I don't want to die here. To somebody not familiar with the band's music this combination might seem strange but everything is well-put together, no instrument overshadowing the rest, Aidan O'Rourke's fiddle ringing through and constantly reminding us of the trad feel, Kris Drever's evocative vocal pulling all heart strings.
Toy Tigers showcases the band's exquisite harmonies and their ability to capture the feel of the place they come from. You can vividly see the waves and the landscapes of the islands while listening to the fiddle and accordion leading the way. The overall sound creates an atmospheric composition that makes you wanna pack your bags and leave the civilization to some distant place. At least for a while.
itshardtoseemtobeokwhenyourenot is where the sparkling fiddle of O'Rourke and Drever's melancholic vocal guide us hrough another beautifully penned song. The instrumental part slighly takes over but when there are lyrics your brain subconsciously pays attention to every word.
"....try to remember what brought me here...."
"....and when you leave you won't leave a trace..."
The album closes with Riad, an instrumental piece with undeniable oriental vibe. The fiddle is taking us on a journey, perhaps through the winding streets of a market somewhere in the Middle East.
This collection of songs, described by some as a Brexit album, shows how powerful the music itself can be. An untameable force that can break boundaries if in the right hands. And you can be sure Lau will keep coming with innovations and new creations. They're unstoppable. Like the waves of the sea.