Curse Of Lono was formed in London in 2015 by singer Felix Bechtolsheimer following the breakup of British roots pioneers Hey Negrita.
The five-piece have been busy recording their debut album with producer and Boxed In front-man, Oli Bayston. But what started as a casual jam with a few friends quickly yielded a stunningly cinematic record in the shape of their debut EP which came out on Friday.
There are four songs on here, each with its own unique fingerprint. Each harking back to an influence, yet never once sounding like a pastiche of anything which came before. Opener, ‘Five Miles’ is faster-paced, has superb harmony vocals, lovely electric guitar accents, a great song for the open road; for driving with the roof down. As you listen Laurel Canyon and the future of Americana seems just around the corner.
‘London Rain’ reminds me of LA Woman-era Doors. The slow, pulsing organ refrain is soaked (no pun) in atmosphere, all the while the cigarette-drawl, gruff vocal sharing the story. ‘He Takes My Place’ is a slow acoustic number with a haunting chorus, and is the some which I find myself hitting repeat on more often than is healthy.
The final track of the EP is ‘Saturday Night’ which reminds me of The National, from lyrical content and musicianship, right down to the vocal style. Like everything else here this song is a favourite on the disc and this is what makes the EP just so good.
Each of the four songs are different in style, wear their influences on their sleeve without being carbon copies or a rip-off of what went before. With an album in the works for early next year I cannot wait to see how Curse of Lono progress.
Below you can watch the trailer for the band’s short film, SATURDAY NIGHT: A FILM OF 4 SONGS. The film, which was directed by their good friend Alex Walker, consists of four inter-connected music videos and will be released in four instalments around the release of the EP.