2017 - 2016
More than a year after Lebanon Hanover showed us a place Besides The Abyss, by releasing on Fabrika their fourth studio album, the playful Babes of the 80s Maxi-Single was released in November 2016.
As the withdrawal symptoms we feel due to our addiction to this band started to threaten our existence, they return to offer us once again their heart and soul in the form of a 12 inch Vinyl Maxi-Single.
Feelings close to misanthropy, disappointment, lack of communication and trust in social and personal relationships are the ingredients of this record, which combined with the most wonderful melodies and the heavenly voices of Larissa and William, evoke a unique tenderness that overshadows the sadness, a power that takes us by the hand and leads us to the dancefloor.
And this is the magic power of Lebanon Hanover, a band with a strong message towards/against society, that makes us want to dance to its melancholy. The Babes of the 80’s change both their musical and aesthetical style and LH surprise us once again by showing us a new aspect of their artistic creation.
An ideal image of the bands elegance in full color, expressed by the wonderful cover picture of Thomas Amras and the descent to the daily routine on the back cover, are two strongly opposite components, which perfectly visualize the music. The music itself comes with a unique totally synthesized power towards us, full of emotion, without any bass and guitar parts. And the surprise won’t stop.
As there are exceptional collaborations to be found on this Single. Two great artists are remixing the self-titled track offering us another point of view and even more acoustic pleasure. She Past Away, a beloved band of the Fabrika family, joined for the first time forces with Lebanon Hanover, in a dark, intimate remix of the Babes. But also the cult italo-synth artist Tobias Bernstrup contributes with a sensual and extremely danceable mix to this release.
2016 and 2017 the band is touring all over Europe, as well as playing several festivals.
Around mid of 2017 they started working on the next album Let Them Be Alien, that was recorded and co-produced in Greece by Doruk Ozturkcan (She Past Away).
It’s been already three years since the release of the band’s critically-acclaimed debut album The World Is Getting Colder, when in Febuary 2015 the video for Hollow Sky, was released. Followed only a few weeks later by the album Beside The Abyss,
A new era for the band, whereas previously, Larissa Iceglass and William Maybelline had been a couple. In the two years since the Release of Tomb for Two, the two find themselves two no more. Larissa relocated from Bochum to Mannheim and William to Athens, home of their label Fabrika.
The record's title Besides The Abyss, with a well its cover, is both a play on words (similar to the expression Elephant in the Room), a well as a Jungian metaphor for an uncertain future. The abyss is the Shakespearen undiscovered country, the fear of the unknown; referencing the English Folk Nursery Rhyme Jack and Jill, a generic pairing of a boy and girl as noted by the bard himself.
Richer and sound, Besides the Abyss is a sonic Deprofundis, with songs and melodies that descend into the very Depths of Sorrow. And what emerges is some of Lebanon Hanover's deepest work, with William and Larissa broadening their brushstrokes with more varied instrumentation and refined song structure, asking the question: "Well, what now?"
This new album consists of ten new recordings and it has been written by Larissa Iceglass and William Maybelline between 2013/2014.
This was their first “real” studio album and the fourth to be released in an extraordinarily creative period of almost three years. It was recorded and produced at Zoom Studio/Athen.
And, also for the first time, a guest musician went with Lebanon Hanover in the studio, playing for The Moor the most sorrow-filled saxophone you’ve ever heard.
Chris Manolitsis was the man behind this production, mixing and mastering, giving the final touch, intensifying these tracks exactly the way he did it in the early 80s.
Larissa: "It was a big help having the studio resources, like the saxophone, the semi acoustic and the synths we didn’t have access to back then. The writing process was not much different in comparison to the previous albums, as William and I produced and built the album and its structures in the usual way." (Interview w/ François Zappa)
This album reflects a process of musical maturing and self-knowledge, though inward-looking and intimate, it has no difficulties entering deep into the emotional world of the listener.
Dominated by the voice of Larissa Iceglass, which embraces us like an unknown warmth coming straight from the blackest abyss, the elegance of the guitar parts, the sad bass and synthesizer melodies, the poetic tenderness of the lyrics, this album is of a unique hopeful but gloomy romantic. Besides The Abyss is gorgeous and timeless. And Lebanon Hanover hold the key to our soul as we all walk a path of failures and of heights. Their way of giving new breath to old structures, of expressing a universal emotion, is almost addictive and we consider ourselves lucky not having to live long without their music.
The CD only bonustrack If Bernhard Could See Us is a haze of romance and nostalgia, both lyrically, and in sound. Anchored by a poetic guitar, and bass, the dream doesn't end here, and the spirit of love lives on forever: like a song, like poetry. Like a memory etched in time; passion put into both words and melody. Sadness is Rebellion, but so is love.
To promote the album, shortly after the release , the band played a tour covering Germany, France and Switzerland , as well as some dates in Italy, Russia and Greece at the end of the year.
Well, the first albums Why Not Just Be Solo, The World Is Getting Colder and Tomb For Two have been released in less than 18 months. And the first pressings of all three vinyl albums sold out very quickly. A “luxury” problem based on success - as the result of a lot of hard work over the last 4 years.
In spring Lebanon Hanover played Ukraine for the first time, followed by 2 shows in Russia. Not even two months later, it was time for the first “big” European tour, that started on 30th April.
In just one month – the band played 13 shows in Germany, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Greece. Ending in front of a big crowd, with an awesome and enthusiastic show at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen/Leipzig.
© Isolde Woudstra
The second half of the year, Larissa and William took a short break – before they decided to process their impressions and emotions, as well as new musical ideas – in working on the next album to come.