The South London collective show considerable growth and maturity in their debut EP.
Although Lakuna released their first EP entitled Evening Gold back in 2018, their recent 2021 release, Where We Go, shows considerable growth and maturity. The South London collective have noticeably refined their sound over the past few years, drawing on R&B, jazz and soul influences, resulting in an EP which blends and flows from one track to the next for nearly 20 minutes of rich and soothing vibrations.
Singer Esme Rothero delivers sultry vocals throughout all 5 songs included in Where We Go, with a voice not dissimilar to Poppy Ajudha or Pip Millett. Electric guitarist Ben Glasser accompanies her lyrical content of love and desire with tender guitar riffs and licks. The EP also includes a couple of instrumental features to complement the group’s jazzy sound.
The first track, ‘Golden Intentions,’ includes a feature from Poppy Daniels, a young prominent trumpetist in the London jazz scene. Her outro muted trumpet solo sounds like an effortless improvisation, sonically transporting us to a late-night jazz club as the music fades away. The accompanying music video for the song, directed, choreographed and produced by Eleanor Grace Hann, depicts the intimate sound of the track as a couple fluently dance around in a beautiful location by the sea.
On the third track ‘Fallin,’ Glasser plays a slow but serene melodic opening on guitar, accompanied by quiet bird song and muffled conversation in the background. When the vocals enter, the tempo picks up, but still retains that tranquil atmosphere. As the chorus of the song arrives with the words “falling in love with you,” featured saxophonist Solaariss plays a simple but memorable descending melody, completing the song’s soulful expressiveness.
Rothero sings in ‘Arrived At Another Time,’ “say that you’ll be my ocean,” and these lyrics emphasise the dreamlike themes and captivating content of the EP, consistent throughout but also portrayed individually in each track. Although still very underground with less than 1K followers on Instagram, Lakuna definitely have an exciting future ahead if they continue to develop as they have over the past few years.
Words: Taylor Ehrlich