Thursday, October 20, 2011

Album: Laura - Twelve Hundred Times

Band: Laura
Album: Twelve Hundred Times
Label:  Elevation Recordings
Year: 2011

01. Visitor
02. This Grey Earth
03. Gravity Hill
04. Mark the Day
05. Glint
06. x1200
07. Stone Seed
08. Fugue State
09. The Slow
10. Safe Confinement
11. New Safe Confinement

Officially, the 5-piece alternative outfit from Melbourne formed in 2001, but it wasn’t until a few years later that the band's story really began. Following the release of its debut EP ‘Photographs…’ in 2002, Laura experimented with a number of member changes and, consequently, sounds. By 2003, the band included the current members: Andrew Chalmers (guitars / vocals), Nathan Biggin (piano / synthesizers / guitars), Ben Yardley (guitars), Andrew Yardley (bass), and Carolyn Gannell (cello). The time spent perfecting the mix was clearly worth the toil, because what followed is one of the most impressive and well received bodies of work produced by an Australian underground act in recent years.

In 2004, Laura released its debut album, 'Mapping Your Dreams', produced by Melbourne-based Japanese engineer and recording artist Naomune Anzai. The title track quickly gained the attention of radio, receiving high-rotation airplay from independent stations around the country including FBi Radio and 2SER in Sydney, and 3RRR and 3PBS in Melbourne. Critical success soon followed. Of the album, Rave Magazine said, "Mapping Your Dreams drips in ethereal, other worldly wall of soundness.” Beat Magazine named the track 'We Should Keep This Secret' its Single of the Week and later Indie Single of the Year for 2004. During this time, Laura began to gain significant momentum in the live arena as well, thanks to intense shows that featured the band’s signature wall of sound, and its dramatic and at times chaotic dynamics.

Having created a more than healthy groundswell, Laura spent an intense six months writing and recording its second album, ‘Radio Swan Is Down’. Upon the albums’ release in 2006, the band embarked on a national tour which not only proved to intensify their fan base, but also gained the attention of international ears including US prog-metal group ISIS, for whom Laura would go on to support on their 2007 Australian tour. That same year, the band released a Japanese edition of ‘Radio Swan Is Down’, later promoting the album with a tour of Japan that included shows in Tokyo, Osaka and Hiroshima.

With their international profile clearly on the rise, and a solid international fan base now well established, Laura released their second EP 'Yes Maybe No' in 2008 on US label Elevation Recordings. Further exposure in the US followed in 2009 with MTV licensing several of the band's songs for various TV series.

This March, Laura releases the limited edition double a-side 7 inch, ‘This Grey Earth’ | Mark The Day’. With only 500 copies produced, The 7 inch is the first taste of what’s to come from the band's long awaited third album, and is already gaining significant attention with ‘Mark The Day’ being named Single Of The Week by both Beat Magazine and InPress in January 2011. "…it's enough to darken the sun at midday." (InPress Magazine)

Dark, moody and complicated, this latest release by Laura is sure to leave a mark on all who hear it.


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