LAPLAND MEDIA PAGE
The beginning of Lapland started before it even had a name. It was born in a tiny half-bedroom in Brooklyn, where songwriter Josh Mease began recording a new batch of songs in early 2011. Mease has always found comfort in the solitude of his own thoughts, often preferring the landscapes within his mind’s eye over the bustle of the city that surrounds him. So it seems fitting that in making Lapland’s self-titled debut, he worked alone using whatever was within reach – only rarely using other musicians.
Perhaps this self-imposed isolation is why Lapland has such an introspective tone. Themes of separation and loss are woven throughout the album, as Lapland moves fluently through different styles and genres while maintaining a uniquely personal sound. From the percolating electronic gallop of the opening track, “Unwise”, to the blue-eyed soul of “Aeroplane”, to the acoustic haze and layered harmonies of “Overboard”, Mease always keeps things interesting. One can hear the effect of the myriad of music styles and genres that informed Lapland – Early synth pioneers of the 60′s and 70′s, French Impressionists like Ravel and Debussy, and 1970′s staples like Fleetwood Mac.
Mixing styles is not new for Mease. He grew up in Texas where his childhood love of rock and country evolved into studying jazz guitar. After moving to New York, he eventually shifted his focus from playing jazz to singing and writing songs. This transformation gives Mease a unique approach to songwriting, and his work has earned him fans not only in indie circles but also in jazz, R&B, and classical music as well.
The name Lapland only presented itself after the album was completed, when Mease picked up a book from the $2 stacks at a used bookstore called “Lappland Wanderland.” The book contained photos of other-worldly landscapes and vast open spaces which seemed to connect with Mease’s new recording. It was not a difficult decision to adopt the name Lapland for this new phase of Mease’s career. The scope of his work deserves a moniker of symbolic significance. And so, Lapland began.
"Lapland, like so many of the best acts these days, is the cause célèbre, the raison d'être, of a boy with a dream, a male solo artist with a singular vision and the musical ambition - and talent - to realise it....What can we say? Album of the year, so far."
- The Guardian (UK)
"With those relaxed vocals carrying the theme and an intricate knack for carving a song from whatever materials he has allowed himself, it’s an album that stands apart from those obvious similar acts, but one which those who favour their rock soft and their folk with a pinch of pop will want in their collection." (8 out of 10)
- The Line of Best Fit (UK)
"Knock-out songs, somewhere between Fleetwood Mac and Burt Bacharach" (5 out of 5)
- The Arts Desk (UK)
"A collection of gentle,dream-like songs, all written and played by Lapland mainman Josh Mease, which gradually ease their way under the skin."
- The Sunday Express (UK)
"His multi-faceted approach to production gives him the leeway to combine seemingly incongruous sounds into something that not only fits together perfectly but feels emotionally resonant and inclusive toward the listener. Drawing on artists like The Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac, as well as classical composers like Debussy and Ravel, Mease never allows his focus to stagnate and maintains an acute eye toward composition even when treading across multiple genres—many times within the same song."
- Beats Per Minute
"The record is sure to kick 2014 off with a bang, if its lead single is anything to go by: 4 minutes of dreamy, hazy and downright beautiful ambient pop, it features a wordless chorus that will definitely sweep you off your feet. It'd be unwise to give it a miss."
- The 405 (UK)
"Josh Mease’s smooth voice fills out his mixes with dense background vocals, and there is a certain timelessness to the shape of his melodies. The full and dreamy production transports the listener to a space and time far from the chaos of the city, notwithstanding the unusual electronic effects. Think Grizzly Bear with some Boards of Canada mixed in."
- The Deli Magazine
"Lyrics cast afloat upon billowing seas of dreamy textures, it seems hard to believe that everything you're hearing is almost solely the work of Mease and yet with the exception of the drums that's exactly what's happening....But the more impressive feat is how all of Mease's various loves and influences are alchemized in not only an intriguing personal style but also one that manages to be remarkably understated."
- All Around Sound
"It is, if anything, an even stronger and stranger record than Wilderness, full of burbling electronic textures, prettily strummed guitars, eerie harmonies, and bleak lyrics about failed romance. It’s a woozily atmospheric record, but one grounded in the sort of musical foundation that any pop fan or jazz musician would recognize."
- Texas Monthly
"Lapland's" UK debut single is a beauty. With gorgeously produced synths, lush yet delicate vocals, and a pop inspired structure, Lapland sets the tone for a lazy Sunday or long car ride to the beach. Influences can be heard left and right in this tune, from synth pioneers of the 60′s and 70′s, French Impressionists like Ravel and Debussy, and modern vocalists like Bon Iver. His sound has tremendous depth and is thoughtfully crafted. Now we just can’t wait to hear some more."
- The Music Ninja (UK)
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