It's taken Landshapes (formerly Lulu & The Lampshades) about five years of just existing, of playing shows in their native London to get to this moment: the release of their debut full length. On "In Limbo", the first single from their Bella Union debut, all vestiges of the cute folk pop responsible for "Feet to the Sky" or perhaps more famously "Cups (You're Gonna Miss Me)" has been burned off. In it's wake is a technically precise rock band with explosive vocal talents. The vocal chops are certainly nothing new but stripped from the rather quaint folky confines they certain do seem far more impressive. Soaring over the tumultuous, heaving guitar lines. Even sans the instrumental clamor, the vocals are distinctive; memorable.
And almost as delightfully surprising as their apparently sudden change in sound (if you live abroad and/or haven't seen them live) is the video for "In Limbo". Shot by Ian Pons Jewell in La Paz, Bolivia, follows the life of a female wrestler. It provides a vibrant glimpse into the indigenous culture while also focusing on the duality of the two female. After the woman takes her time delicately sprucing just to walk the streets and arrive to at wrestling while the others are more modestly dressed and dedicate their efforts toward fighting the other wrestlers. The female wrestlers' one moment of fashion-consciousness is short-lived as they get dressed up to enter the ring but after which they discards the costume that would no doubt encumber them.
So while it may have taken them awhile to get to this point, transforming in a lot of ways until to wholly new band, if "In Limbo" is any indication, it was labor well expelled. Landshapes has turned sleek and powerful, strong but dexterous and their debut album Rambutan promises to be something special. The full length is out May 17th on Bella Union. No world yet on a US date but here's to hoping.