Why am I saying LUMP? Why am I yelling at you? These questions shouldn’t have answers and I would rather they didn’t, but sadly we mustn’t all get what we want.
LUMP is a product, a collaboration between Mike Lindsay of the band Tunng and Laura Marling, an artist I’ve been in love with since 2015. They both have folk rock and alternative folk backgrounds, which makes a collaboration unsurprising, though Lindsay also delves into folktronica so the end result would take Marling a step away from her norm. The result of the collaboration fills us with lyrics and vocals done entirely by Marling, with Lindsay bringing the primary instrumental part of the album. From the brief experience I have had with Tunng, the moody electronic folk sound they seem to be known for makes a significant presence here. As for Marling, she tends to be very poetic with her lyricism, but it feels like she allowed herself to go further into the ambiguity by allowing the lyrics to be more theatrical alongside the music built around. Marling and Lindsay referred to their recording experience as effortless, and I believe it based solely on how well both parts of each song gel. LUMP, as an album, brings an electronic folk fusion that takes the best of both artists.
Of course, I love the album. Laura Marling is a treasure and Mike Lindsay is quite a talent, himself. It’s a weird surreal album that caters to the duo’s strengths and creativity. If you’re a fan of folk when it gets weird, give this a shot.
“Late to the Flight” is my recommendation. It’s the first song off the album and greatly depicts how well the duo work together. The song begins with silence followed by a chord progression that’s lumbering and anxious. The lyrics can be open to interpretation, but it appears to be about a figure who is “rolling the dices” which would usually refer to a gambler but I see as a risk-taker; though Marling refers to them as “a crooner in crises.” In the second verse, “dice fall from the table agitating the room,” giving the impression that the figure has given up. I see this as being a don’t give up on life anthem as Marling’s return to verses plead for the figure to “keep rolling the dices,” and because the chorus is sonically dream-like while talking about travelling and seeking peace. Once again, the lines are vague in the full meaning but that’s what it means to me.
Watch the video. The gimmick for this album is that it is all personified through a troll, the titular LUMP. “Curse of the Contemporary” also has the LUMP, and he is as lively as ever.
NO LOVE FOR LUMP? WHAT GIVES?
There will be no end of all the praise I’ll eventually continue to give to Laura Marling so let’s take this opportunity to look at Tunng. They released a song this year! It is “ABOP.” I’m not sure if I like it or am just impressed by the electronic folksiness of the whole thing. It’s definitely a niche style that you should at least give a try if you like LUMP. LUMP!