Her 12 Faces
The stunning new album from producer/guitarist Lanu
Creating a sonic world where Beat culture collides with indie, dream pop, lounge and folk music, this solo record marks a stylistic point of departure for the prolific musician who is better known as Lance Ferguson, the bandleader and creative force behind acclaimed Australian funk outfit The Bamboos. Lanu’s vision is paired with the captivating talents of vocalist Megan Washington – one of Australia’s biggest and brightest new stars – for a mix of modern, kooky immediacy and timeless charm. Think the eclectic, crossover appeal of Little Dragon, Feist, Emiliana Torrini, Charlotte Gainsbourg or Janelle Monae.
First single “Beautiful Trash” is one of five Washington-voiced songs on ‘Her 12 Faces’; a supreme nugget of outsider pop, it has been supported with major UK radio play from Steve Lamacq (BBC 6Music), Nemone (BBC 6Music), Don Letts (BBC 6Music), John Kennedy (XFM), The Selector (NME Radio) and has been featured in Record of the Day. Elsewhere, it has been A-listed on Triple J national radio in Australia, and has been picked by Starbucks and iTunes in the US for heavy promotion. With an official digital single release on 7th February 2011, “Beautiful Trash” also has a fantastic animated video with over 5,000 hits in five days on YouTube.
Ferguson first introduced Megan Washington to his fans as the voice of The Bamboos’ 2008 hit cover version of Kings Of Leon’s “King Of The Rodeo”. Now signed to Universal/Mercury, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Washington won two major gongs – Best Breakthrough Artist and Best Female Artist – at the 2010 ARIAs, (Australia’s top awards, equivalent to Brits/Mercury Prize/Grammys). Her debut album of idiosyncratic, dramatic indie pop, ‘I Believe You, Liar’, has gone platinum on its release down under, and she is now poised for ‘next big thing’ lists in the UK and elsewhere.
‘Her 12 Faces’ flows effortlessly between finely crafted indie-leaning pop songs and lush instrumental/electro pieces; mesmerising instrumental track “The Coral Route” takes its name from the path flown by TEAL Airways Flying Boats through the South Pacific islands in the ‘50s. “The whole idea of that just sounds like magic to me…majestic Art Deco birds of supreme beauty that would land in palm tree-surrounded bays in Tahiti, The Cook Islands, Fiji and my hometown of Auckland NZ”, says Ferguson. It is also a special ode to his Hawaiian-style steel guitar playing grandfather, Bill Wolfgramm, who released New Zealand’s first ever LP and a host of records during the time the Coral Route was in service. “It’s really a tribute to him – and if I had ever been able to make a tune with him it might have sounded a little like this”.
The album closes with a French language version of “More Than This”. “Yeah it’s a Roxy Music cover. I was going for some kind of ‘Life Aquatic’ twist on this and I thought having a Frenchman doing it would be just the ticket”, says Ferguson. So he enlisted Ced le Meledo, a local legend who regales people with traditional French songs at a bar by the beach: “When he left my house after recording I asked him, ‘What are you doing for the rest of the day?’ His response: ‘I am going to make love to my girlfriend for 24 hours’. True story.”
A perfectly pitched mix of the sentimental, the irreverent, the personal, the humorous, the acoustic and the electronic, ‘Her 12 Faces’ is already breaking yet more new ground for Ferguson, whose recent work with The Bamboos gained heavy radio support and widespread press coverage in The Times, Independent On Sunday, Notion, Clash, iDJ, Wax Poetics, Rolling Stone and more.