Lumari – En Phase

Minneapolis shoegazers Lumari are building on the promise of their early singles with debut album En Phase. The band are brothers Dave and Dan West, Robert Caple and Margo Pearson. They’ve been working closely with renowned producer/engineer Eric Olsen to refine and hone their sound. When asked to describe themselves the band have this to say.

“Our music is intense yet atmospheric; visceral yet ethereal. The songs are full of emotion, telling stories that resonate with listeners on a deep level. We’re quickly becoming a popular band in the Minneapolis and shoegaze music scenes, garnering critical acclaim from all corners of the internet world.”

The album opens on the lilting sound of ‘Starlit’. The dreamy guitars are the perfect foil for Pearson’s beautiful voice. The drums could easily be keeping a fairly straightforward beat however we’re treated to a fine display from someone who really knows their kit. As an opening track this does a great job introducing us to who Lumari are and what they have in store for us.

‘In Waves’ follows beckoned in on ghostly guitar wails. Verses have a lot of space with vocals and bass doing the early work. There’s nice contrast between the light of the synth flourishes and guitar strums versus the dark tones in Pearson’s moody delivery. This is a superb song given wings with a really dynamic production.

The ghostly guitars return for the intro to ‘Slow Kill’ but then things take an unexpected turn. Instead of the shoegaze song we are expecting the band gift us a jaunty, jangle pop number with distinct C86 nods. We skip through the verses but it’s in the chorus that they pull a switcharoo on us and things get slightly more gazey. The instrumental break as we head in to the final minute is exceptional. Great track.

A lonely synth begins ‘Wake Up’ next but its not long until the band arrive all at once. Again, the drums dance a merry dance, pure ear candy. The guitars chime throughout lending this song a brighter sheen than its predecessors, a nice production choice. It’s subtle things like that that keep you on your toes as a listener.

‘Doors and Corners’ comes crashing in next, the harmony between bass and the vocals really packing a punch. It’s no surprise to me that the band chose this catchy number to feature on a split seven inch with Sex Park. It has that immediacy that you need in a lead single making this my album stand out track.

Taking the tempo down next is the atmospheric ‘Carina’. This one feels like a cool breeze on a warm day. The band skew their gaze sound in a more indie rock direction creating this really unusual effect. The song feels like a more straightforward ballad whilst maintaining the edgy sound that gaze affords.

‘Neon Mirror’ channels ‘How Soon is Now’ and morphs that into a soaring anthem. I can imagine that when played live this track will send the mosh pit crazy. The moment the chorus kicks in is so impactful it leaves you breathless.

The album closes out on ‘Cloud Control’. Crystalline guitars guide us into the swoon some verses. This one is a slow burner. As we go along, we get hints of the maelstrom of sound heading our way. The final two minutes of the song are ecstatic. Guitars climb to the heavens as Pearson’s lofty vocals lead the way. This is how you finish an album. Just exceptional.

En Phase is out now and available from the Lumari Bandcamp page digitally and on clear Coke Bottle Green vinyl! If you want the wax, I’d recommend being quick as it’s limited to 100 copies!

Follow Lumari on social media here ….

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