Having formed dream-pop duo LUNGS in early 2012 with singer Suzie Blake, it seems that the departure of MC Lord Magrão from indie-rockers Guillemots was almost inevitable, even if he didn’t know it yet. With the new found freedom at their disposal, it took LUNGS roughly six weeks from the date of Magrão’s departure to release their debut single ‘Faraway’, establishing an aesthetic birthed from the cloying conditions occasionally found when part of a band. There’s a sense of freedom within their music, exhibited by Magrão and Blake both; a definite feeling of emancipation  that can only stem from finding yourself with complete creative control.

Working like a statement of intent, the aforementioned ‘Faraway’ is four minutes of delicate layered vocals, a brooding bassline and sharp percussion that eschews any shoegazed stylings that have come to be associated with dream-pop in favour of something far less sonic, something far more delicate. Comparatively, b-side ‘Loner’ provides the first taste of a much darker edge to duo’s music, fully explored in later releases such as ‘Not Me’. It’s this dichotomy of dark and light, of weight and weightlessness, that breathes new life into the record, providing it with an edge that begs for it to be viewed as a singular entity, and not two separate tracks. Similarly, the band’s forthcoming single ‘Not Mine’ (backed with ‘Hold Me’)  run on thematically similar rails, but both feel bigger, more expansive, as if within the three months that separates releases, LUNGS have found their footing and thrown themselves whole-heartedly into their venture.

Though influenced by the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Portishead and Sonic Youth, the band are very much their own monster, incorporating elements of the pair’s personal artwork into their music and live shows seems just as important as the music itself, something one can’t help but feel was lacking with Guillemots. And whilst more and more acts are obviously beginning to incorporate a more artistic approach to their craft, the way in which LUNGS pull it off feels far more organic, and therein lies the crux of the band’s appeal; this feels like the music both MC Lord Magrão and Suzie Blake have not only wanted to create, but needed to. Sure dream-pop is a well-trodden genre, but LUNGS make it their own, employing haunting beauty; crisp, cold melodies and a sense of the ominous that backbones almost every song. The buzz that’s surrounding the band might not be at it’s strongest yet, but it’s only going to get louder.

About The Author

Dave Beech

Having spent my formative years torn between crying in my bedroom to tedious early '00s emo records and playing in a couple of terrible punk bands, I decided I was far better suited to writing about music than playing it. Now, approaching my mid-twenties all of a sudden, armed with little more than an unhealthy penchant for sarcasm and an acquired taste for warm cider, I can mostly be found haunting the unsigned circuit of Manchester as often as I can the city's bigger venues, championing those bands who don't quite get the attention they deserve, as much as panning those who get too much. Twitter: @dave__beech