Lost Horizons is a new musical collaboration between
Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins / Bella Union label boss) and Richie Thomas (Dif Juz).
Their debut LP Ojalá is released on Oct 27th 2017
The former Cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde also celebrates 20 years piloting his revered record label Bella Union, he has scaled another personal peak with this new collaboration with drummer Richie Thomas.
They’re called Lost Horizons, their stunning debut album is a rare sighting of two gifted musicians who, for different reasons, have been largely absent from music-making for the last 20 years.
The record is proof of a telepathic relationship through music, established when the pair first became collaborators and friends in the eighties.
Ojalá incorporates a heady cast of guest singers. Some are signed to Bella Union, such as Marissa Nadler, former Midlake frontman Tim Smith, Cameron Neal (Horse Thief), others are long-time favourites of Raymonde’s (Leila Moss of The Duke Spirit), or newer discoveries (Beth Cannon, Ed Riman, Gemma Donleavy and Phil McDonnell). And then there is the incomparable Karen Peris of The Innocence Mission, one of Raymonde’s all-time favourites, in her first collaboration outside of The Innocent Mission and solo recordings, and finally the wonderful Sharon Van Etten.
History of the pair:
Before he started Bella Union, Raymonde was of course the bassist of the revered Cocteau Twins, where the vein of melancholia went very deep. Dif Juz were arguably the first word in instrumental post-rock, Thomas was their anchor the engine room of their wondrous free-flow. The two bands became friends, and toured together.
“Dif Juz are still one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen, I adore Richie’s drumming,” says Raymonde. “He plays in a really unusual style, and makes the whole drum kit come alive.”
Raymonde and Thomas had made demos together in the eighties, but filed them away – Thomas recalls, “The business side of music became too painful. I had, too much love for music that wasn’t returned. Simon has music in his heart and I wanted to get him making music again. And when the idea of jamming together came up, I got really excited, which I hadn’t felt about music in ages.”
The pair booked just four days in an east London studio, with Raymonde on piano and Thomas on drums, and a simple plan: “It must feel like fun, never a chore, and it had to be improvised,” Raymonde explains. If it never became a record, it didn’t matter. It was all about recapturing that feeling when you’re 15, making music with friends.”
As all the songs took shape, Raymonde began thinking of singers to suit each, and to his surprise and joy, they all agreed.
Ojalá was made for its core duo’s need to make music, and to create something beautiful, and meaningful, in these dark times. It’s why the record is named after the Spanish for “hopefully” (or “God willing”) – “We live in a time where we need hope more than ever,” Thomas concludes. “And hope’s the last thing you give up on… ‘We live in hope’.
Come and witness one of only a very few small launch shows here in Ramsgate, and here the wonders they created live!
Support has been clearly selected by Simon and is Dog in the Snow.
Lost Horizons – ‘Score The Sky’
Lost Horizons – ‘The Places We’ve Been’ feat Karen Peris
Dog In The Snow – ‘Magic’
Note: The touring band will not include many of the singers that recorded on the album, due to obvious reasons, there’s so many of them!