In 2008 Late of the Pier released Fantasy Black Channel, an eclectic, bonkers maelstrom of demented, ludicrous synths and irresistible hooks. Then, save for one more single, they disappeared in a haze of glitter and capes, leaving a technicoloured gap in the musical landscape.
Now, seven years since that album, their lead singer Sam Dust (née Eastgate) is back as LA Priest and, with Inji, he’s created a record which both captures the spirit of that band but also feels more wilfully adventurous. Over five years (including time in Greenland, where he looked into “the effects of the Ivittuut region’s electro-magnetic phenomena on recorded sound”. Of course he did.) he’s crafted a wonkily experimental album of otherworldly squelches that drips with human emotion.
Inji is a strange but beautiful beast, a glowing journey into a spacey, bizarre landscape. Different influences slowly come into focus and when they coalesce it becomes mesmerising. At times the experimentation means it’s reminiscent of Prince, Arthur Russell and Bowie but it possesses an alien, idiosyncratic charm that’s all its own. Singles ‘Oino’ and ‘Learning To Love’ have already been number one for 25 light years in another dimension and, from ‘Lady’s In Trouble With The Law’’s sea breeze synths and warped hall of mirror vocals through to the nearly-Culture Club falsetto bounce of closer ‘Mountain’, the rest of the record shows off an eccentric and inventive mind, one seemingly brimming with out-of-the-ordinary ideas.
Dust off your cape, this is going to be a fun ride.
Buy: LA Priest – Inji