Kindred spirits: The Dream Academy, Sigur Ros, Besnard Lakes
Show: With Boxelders on Saturday at
U Street Music Hall. Show starts at 7 p.m. 202-588-1880. www.ustreetmusichall.com. $15.
Hazel Wilde has a delicate voice that is well suited to the songs of disappointment and defeat on Lanterns on the Lake’s new album, “Until the Colours Run.” But such hushed ballads as “Green and Gold” and “Picture Show” are exceptions on the Newcastle chamber-rock group’s second album. More often, the singer-keyboardist stakes out her place in the midst of a musical storm conjured by her bandmates, notably guitarist Paul Gregory, drummer Oliver Ketteringham and violinist Sarah Kemp.
The band has struggled since its 2011 debut album, losing two members, one of whom shared lead vocals with Wilde. Recession-battered Britain also has endured a rough period, invoked in such new Lanterns tunes as “Another Tale From Another English Town.” Despite such lines as “we’ve been sold a thousand lies this year,” the song is less angry than mournful. Framed by yearning guitar and melancholy violin, Wilde insists that she and her friends just want “the quiet life.”
“Until the Colours Run” isn’t all that quiet, but it is mostly stately. The album could use a few more uptempo numbers in the mode of the headlong title track, which has a U2-like sweep. Lanterns on the Lake is more forceful than the last time around, but the group’s music can still sound too wispy for its themes.