Lost Under Heaven (aka LUH) is the sonic and artistic consummation between ex-WU LYF vocalist Ellery James Roberts and Dutch artist Ebony Hoorn.
Known for their edgy, atmospheric post-punk sound, the duo emerged in 2016 with their debut Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing.
Formed in 2013, Lost Under Heaven came together after the dissolution of Roberts' previous band WU LYF. It was at a house party in Manchester, England in 2012 that he first met the Dutch-born Hoorn, an aspiring photographer and filmmaker. Hitting it off creatively and romantically, the couple began working on songs together. They traveled to Thailand, where Hoorn came up with their moniker before setting up home in a converted hospital in Amsterdam. There they began recording, and in 2014 released their first song, "Unites," a shimmering indie rock track featuring Roberts' hoarse shouting backed by Hoorn's cool, detached vocals. They were quickly signed to Mute Records and started work on their debut album, finishing the production on the remote Osea Island off the southeast coast of England.
Released in 2016, Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing was produced by Bobby Krlic (aka the Haxan Cloak), whose ominous atmospherics buffered Roberts and Hoorn's passionate arrangements. The band released a teaser on BitTorrent late that year, which included artwork, their creative manifesto, and a pair of singles: the '90s alt-tinged "Lost Under Heaven" and non-album track "Angels Sing." The LP featured 12 tracks arranged in a song cycle based on the constant loop of what Roberts described as impulse, experience, and enlightenment. The raw-soothing vocal interplay combined with a steadily increasing intensity that created a grand, lush sound on songs like "Beneath the Concrete" and "$ORO." That year, LUH embarked on a world tour in support of the album, backed by Steven Hermitt (drums) and Oliver Cooper ("machines").
They eventually moved back to Manchester, and over the next few years continued to develop their aesthetic as Hoorn took up the bass and further pursued her visual art projects. In 2019, Lost Under Heaven returned with their sophomore full-length album, Love Hates What You Become. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer John Congleton and Swans drummer Thor Harris, the album showcased a tougher, more analag sound influenced by '80s punk icons like Patti Smith and Nick Cave. Included on the album were the singles "For the Wild," "Post-Millennial Tension," and "Bunny's Blues." ~ Neil Z. Yeung