by Anna St. Clair
LANKS is the solo project from Melbourne, Australia singer songwriter, Will Cuming, and after releasing his debut EP, Thousand Piece Puzzle, in June 2014, he’s been generating considerable buzz. LANKS was named by NME as an act to watch and he’s scored substantial radio time from triple j. After releasing Banquet, Cuming is set to tour the Australian east coast in early July.
Listening to Banquet, the latest EP from LANKS, feels like part space trip and part deep sea diving adventure. LANKS’ dreamy electroindie style is clean yet intricate, familiar yet unique. With Will Cuming’s piercing falsettos and use of flutes alongside synths, Banquet makes for a lush trip into the subconscious.
Banquet begins with the winding love song, “Hold Me Closer.” The bubbling synth effects, droney guitar riffs and soft, airy vocals make it a compelling opener. With the repetition of “Hold me closer/Hold me like this,” the song is the perfect low-key pop anthem.
We’re taken further into deep daydreams with the delicate and layered rhythms of “Aurelia.” “Aurelia” highlights the lush beats and wet, rich hooks that makes LANKS’ music such a pleasure trip. Lyrically, “Aurelia” plunges into natural and cerebral imagery with lyrics like, “ Walking in the trees in the evening/ Shadows of the open in my mind/The heaven that shows my freedom/ Somehow it spins locked in.” While later tracks like, “Beach Houses” can feel unfinished, the use of trilling flutes is certainly interesting. While the flutes help to create a tropical feel, they aren’t enough to save “Beach Houses,” which is essentially a basic rhythm track with repetitive, uncreative lyrics.
On “Brothers of the Mountain,” LANKS changes things up and starts to move into indie rock territory. The sturdy, clear guitar riffs and folksy lyrics add variety to the mostly electric melodies of the rest of the album. This certainly won’t be the last we see of LANKS. The slow beats and layered vocals will remind listeners of Lorde, FKA Twigs, and The xx, but the varied synth effects, celestial falsettos, and folk lyrics make Banquet truly unique.