Part of the pleasure of listening to Lumine for review has been trying to figure out which angle to approach it from. Over the course of an hour it exhibits folk-dance influences, Renaissance music flair, ambient tendencies, a touch of symphonic attitude, and a soupçon of gloomy post-rock structure. All of which is to say that this Romanian ensemble is a lot of fun to listen to. Lumine follows an interesting path, going from livelier pieces down to a very quiet, soft feel. It opens with the acoustic guitar-led “Within the Ludic Ocean,” which gives us a light, airy mix of post-rock and folk. “The Calling” is where I hear the Renaissance expression, tapping drums, gorgeous woodwinds, and chanting vocals. On we go, through a changing musical landscape where each switch in style comes as a new exploration rather than an abrupt change of course. There is the soft and calming guitar on “Auditore,” a track that lets pauses and resonant sounds take their time. More cloud-like sounds are layered in to craft a dreamy space that slows time and draws in your full attention.”Many Waters” is a drum-driven jam session with clap-along potency in its hook. Quiet at the outset, with a bit of a Mark Isham echo, it builds patiently into a complex structure. It flows into the long track “Nest Choir,” with the most modern feel of the album, eventually hitting a nice run of glitch-like beats over floaty flute lines and hushed vocals. It’s got a cool minimalist feel in spots, but it takes the listener to a pleasantly deep place.
Lumine and Thy Veils have come as very pleasant surprises to me. The group have been releasing music since the late 90s and have clearly refined their chemistry over time. Crisp, beautifully played, and absolutely engaging, Lumine is an album I’ve happily spent a lot of time with. You must give this a listen.
Available from Thy Veils’ web site.