Evolved from the multi-instrumentalist rhythmic collective Lulu & the Lampshades, London four-piece Landshapes bring together ramshackle percussion with folk-pop melodies and joyous harmonies.
The lineup was unchanged from their 2009 incarnation, which featured Luisa Gerstein, Heloise Tunstall-Behrens, Jemma Freeman, and drummer Dan Blackett -- the only constant in a rotating lineup that saw instruments passed and shared among the other members. After the band had toured under its former moniker for a couple of years, its name was misspelled Landshapes at a Paris venue. This mixup proved to be a happy accident that stuck as the group moved further away from the playful sound that spawned the YouTube hit "Cups" and toward a bolder, experimental approach. The material penned under the revised name came after hours poured obsessively over every note and drumbeat in their bid to perfect their craft in a dingy rehearsal space in London. They hit the studio during late 2011 with Ash Workman (Metronomy, Summer Camp) and recorded their debut full-length, Rambutan, which appeared in 2013 on U.K. indie label Bella Union. For their second album, Heyoon, the band retreated to a cottage in Cornwall to write songs inspired by American short stories and Dutch conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader, then recorded them with producers Giles Barrett and David Holmes. Preceded by the Palindrome EP, a collaboration with London's all-female choir Deep Throat, Heyoon -- which was named after a mispronunciation of a secret pavilion in Southeast Michigan -- arrived in May 2015. ~ Scott Kerr, Rovi