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The Long Lost

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Album Review

Alfred and Laura Darlington are husband and wife singer/songwriters and The Long Lost is their first collaboration. They both sing, play instruments, and share production duties their self-titled debut for Ninja Tune. It's not the usual Ninja Tune fare, definitely more suited for long rambles through the English countryside than to a night spent digging through crates or nodding along to heavy beats. Sure, there are electronics underpinning a majority of the songs here, but they are understated and subtle, definitely playing a support to the variety of acoustic instruments (oboe, flute, clarinet, toy piano, acoustic guitar) the duo implement to create the gentle collision of outsider folk music and bedroom electronica. There are no rough edges to the sound, no clattering beats, and very few moments of musical mayhem to distract from the calm and peaceful (with a slight creepy undertone you almost always find accompanying this kind of folk music) spell the blend of instruments and voices creates. The reason there may be a trace of surprise in that statement comes from the fact that Alfred Darlington's day job is making supremely weird and inventive electronic pop as Daedelus. He does a good job of not letting too much of his near-trademarked approach creep into the Long Lost's sound. The vocal cut-ups in the bossa nova-inspired "Amiss" and the off-kilter drums that flail in the background of "Ballroom Dance Club" are really the only moments where you feel Daedelus' presence. Instead of invention or excitement, The Long Lost is about mood and atmosphere, and the two producers are able to effortlessly create both throughout the album. It doesn't hurt that Laura's fragile vocals transmit tender beauty from the very start and give the album a very strong focal point to build around. Alfred's unstudied vocals blend very well with hers when they join together. This sense of a perfect fit, of a romantic meeting between two like-minded musicians, gives the record an unified, tightly focused feel that can transport the listener into a different world. It may not work for everyone, especially someone looking for the visceral thrills of a Daedelus record, but if you are captured, you will end up captivated by The Long Lost.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

After experimenting with electronica and hip-hop textures under the Daedalus moniker, Alfred Darlington began creating softer music with his wife, vocalist Laura Darlington. Pairing the electro flourishes of Daedalus' past with bedroom acoustics and soft, folk-inspired melodies, the duo christened...
Full bio
The Long Lost, The Long Lost
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