Lebanon Hanover – Let Them Be Alien
14.00€ – 22.00€
Lebanon Hanover’s fifth studio album Let Them Be Alien, is acelebration of the outcast and true romantics in this cold modern age. Is there life on Mars, or do we find the pretty things clad in black with a smile on their face, embracing the strangeness that separates them from the digitally connected masses?
Let Them Be Alien poses these questions by revisiting the themes of the first two Lebanon Hanover records. But now the music progresses through a world-weary and witty lens, with refined songcraft and lyrics of both the utmost sincerity and with tongue planted firming in cheek, where wry smiles blossom like sakura in spring.
But here, the world is far less cold, where many fires flicker in unison in the dark, lighting up the sky like earthbound fallen stars, led by the refined musicianship of William Maybelline and Larissa Iceglass.
The album begins with its title track’s mysterious synths, an anthemic bass driven dirge reminiscent of theme songs for Discovery Channel about alien life. A duet, here William Maybelline’s vocals are deeply resonant, menacing, yet vulnerable, answered by Larissa Iceglass’ silky and sardonic reply, where our two protagonists waking in the opposite direction, against the grain resign themselves always to be Alien. The song’s video is gorgeously shot in both Heidelburg and Athens, where Larissa and William wander the streets, shoulder-checked as outsiders as they travel across bridges and alleys.
Gravity Sucks is a song about the desire to reach the velocity necessary to escape the earth’s gravitational pull. While evoking a sense of not belonging on this cold blue planet, the song’s melancholic melody is propelled forward by sombre saxophone wails, a mournful bassline, and gothic rock guitars, all working in compelling combination with the morose German lyrics.
Kiss Me Until My Lips Fall Off begins with a captivating organ-like intro, continuing the previous song’s macabre gothic rock energy. Here William Maybelline delivers his best necromanitk croon; begging to be kissed until his pain goes away, begging to be kissed until he is dead and rotting.
My Favorite Black Cat begins with the dissonant haze of buzzing of synths, and kicks into gear with Larissa Iceglass’ trademark vocal pur that weaves its way through the autobahn with bass and intermittent xylophone.
Lavender Fields is a curious song and perhaps ironic song about idyllic beauty and idle stagnation. Here Larissa Iceglass muses whether moving to the small town in the countryside will lead to small-minded and provincial thinking.
Du Scrollst is a metallic and biting new wave anthem against those who can’t be in the moment, distancing themselves from their surrounding as they scroll their phones at the club. A heavenly choir accompanies Larrisa Iceglass’ caustic critique of rude people texting people on the dancefloor, not noticing that the person they are writing is right next to them, centimeters away.
True Romantics features William Maybelline’s minimalist coldwave croon over a bubbly bass, synth, and drum-machine-driven display of tenderness with earnest poetic lyrics sincerity.
Another gothic rock-infused song driven by a heartfelt vocal from Maybelline once again is Silent Choir, an intense and danceable lovesong swirling with the scent of cathedral incense and the passion of the lovers’ arcana.
Ebenholz is a staccato synth-driven old-world mechanical ode to the shabby chic decor brilliantly led by Larissa Iceglass’ german language vocals.
With its choral synths, the climactic Petals, backed by William Maybelline’s baritone bellow over jagged and forlorn guitars, is the perfect song to whirl in wistful longing under a cascade of flowers, as seen in the magical music video accompanying the track.