LUH will never stand alone. The new project from Ellery Roberts of Wu Lyf and Ebony Hoorn, Lost Under Heaven create theatrical heavy pop. Seeing them at Electrowerkz seems to be an almost painful reincarnation of Ellery’s input in his previous band. Coming from Manchester at the same time I was coming of age and exploring the city at night, the band carry a particular poignancy for me.
They were a show of worldly wonders, and the mystery that many desire to surround themselves with in a haze of teenage naïveté. When I see people I used to know united in the crowd, the elements of LUH is an exposition of old hopes and dreams. The pair play in front of pseudo-intellectual handmade banners which read “trying to live a life which means something more”, a trace of previous substantial literary proclamations. Orchestration is minimal, yet that is when the duo are at their best on stage.
There is a kind of delicacy surrounding Ellery’s rapturous and pained vocals, and a cinematic building of sensitivity and tension which was perhaps veiled to the surface listeners of Wu Lyf. The pair have been hoarding material since 2012, but I & I, released in January, demonstrates a desirable duality between Roberts and Hoorn which is intensified on stage.
Perhaps Hoorn is the feature that redeems the project from haunting Roberts as the ghost of previous endeavours, as the pair enter into a dialectic of creativity. It’s impossible to listen to LUH without the past surfacing; what makes the project into a palatable extension of previous work is Hoorn’s input. LUH will never free themselves from their origins, but it’s evident that complete division is not what they desire.