Following their first US tour in over a decade, Lebanon Hanover returns with a soul-stirring double A-side single release, marking their first new material since the captivating 2020 album, ‘Sci-Fi Sky.’ Now, the enigmatic duo of William Maybelline and Larissa Iceglass beckons listeners into unventured sonic domains, intricately weaving folk-driven acoustic dream pop with the vulnerable essence of post-punk in a contemplative exploration of life’s ephemeral yet profound nature.
Better Than Going Under:
Embarking on a Cure-like sonic voyage reminiscent of the ‘Head on the Door’ and the ‘Kiss Me Era,’ ‘Better Than Going Under’ manifests as a romantic, somber daydream. William Maybelline’s brooding baritone intertwines with sighing back vocals, narrating an ode to life’s fleeting yet boundless vistas. The acoustic strums initiate a folk-driven narrative which, when coupled with a celestial choir, crafts a contemplative soundscape of cautious optimism. The lyricism, “Life is full of wonder, it’s better than going under,” encapsulates a message of endurance amidst life’s turbulent waves of sorrow. This track tenderly encourages listeners to embrace the small joys within life’s limited vastness, portraying a psychedelic narrative reminiscent of the evocative vibes of Echo and the Bunnymen or The Church. The key change in the chorus amplifies the emotive voyage, making ‘Better Than Going Under’ a compelling narrative that beckons listeners to find joy amidst life’s unpredictable ebb and flow, rather than succumbing to the undertow of despair.
Bearing the name of Ukraine’s capital, ‘KYIV,’ voiced by Larissa Iceglass, delves into a narrative reflective of the sorrow and despair entwined within war-torn regions like Ukraine and beyond. The acoustic guitar and drum machine create a Cocteau Twins’ ‘Treasure’-reminiscent soundscape, evoking a melancholic yet beautiful auditory journey. Iceglass’s voice, transitioning from her husky baritone to a more resigned lament, embodies a poignant reflection on the harsh realities faced by those embroiled in conflict-ridden landscapes. The narrative exudes a collective empathy towards the suffering, underscoring the arbitrary geographic lottery that delineates the vastly disparate human experiences. Accompanied by a somber trumpet, the song paints a vivid picture of despair while also serving as a call to arms, urging collective empathy and togetherness to traverse through the harsh realities of this life.
Through ‘Better Than Going Under’ and ‘KYIV’, Lebanon Hanover invites listeners into a profound reflection on life’s beauty amidst despair, nurturing a shared human experience aimed at finding hope and unity amidst the global tumult. Both tracks, laden with emotive resonance, unveils a sonorous exploration of the human condition, engaging with themes of existence, empathy, and the overarching global narrative.
Edition of 1200 black colour with emboss cover