Home // Music // Album Review // Laki Mera – Turn All Memory to White Noise

Laki Mera – Turn All Memory to White Noise

One of the best things about growing up in Glasgow was the opportunity to immerse myself in one of the strongest musical heritages in the UK.  The Scottish Album of the Year award, recently awarded for the second time to RM Hubbert, shows that the quality of music coming out of Scotland is in no way diminishing, and the inclusion of Calvin Harris and Emeli Sandé demonstrates the Scots continue to take the world by storm.  Next year it looks like bands such as old favourites Frightened Rabbit, newcomers Three Blind Wolves and the hyped CHVRCHES are all going to be contenders for the SAY Award, but unfortunately Laki Mera are unlikely to be in the running.

Their first record, The Proximity Effect, set them up as a interesting, something band and was picked by Rough Trade as an album of the month. It seemed to establish the band as one of Scotland’s more exciting new prospects; full, as it was, of wonderful combinations of glitches and Laura Donnelly’s vocals.  However, their newest effort, Turn All Memory to White Noise, doesn’t have quite the same impact as The Proximity Effect, many of the elements that made the latter so interesting having been filtered out, leaving songs that feel altogether much safer.  This change in direction may have been influenced by the changes that have affected the band since their last record, with drummer Tim Harbinson leaving the group, and the ending of the relationship between two of its members.

There are some very pretty songs on the album; ‘Red Streak-Cut Sky’ sees Donnelly’s smooth, soft vocals accompanied by some beautiful and interesting string arrangements. ‘Leave a Burn’ makes brilliant use of cross rhythms, with the vocals, piano and percussion all seemingly following their own beat, creating something that, while discordant, manages to come together to form something whole and really quite unique.  However, these attention-capturing moments are few and far between.  Ultimately, Turn All Memory to White Noise fails to live up to the precedent set by The Proximity Effect, songs like ‘Sweet Warm Dance’ and ‘Winter (There’s A Light)’, barely managing to leave an impression.  It’s a shame for a band that demonstrated such a strong basis early in its career, and I can only hope that the changes to both the members’ personal and professional lives don’t hamper their progress any further and they produce the kind of record they’ve already proved they’re capable of.

- Rachel Bolland

Turn All Memory to White Noise is available now on Just Music.

Leave a Reply