Under the Sun
The twee pop of British Columbia-based Lotus is almost a throwback to another indie scene altogether, the book-smart alt-folk of 10,000 Maniacs and their contemporaries which helped define college radio in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Left-of-the-dial staples such as The Sundays and the Innocence Mission are reflected in Lotus’ sparkling summer-afternoon jangle and honey-warm harmonies. However, given the time gap since then, the similarities are probably coincidental; they simply drink from the same vine as opposed to being a new blossom from the old seed.
Lead singer Feona Lim has a charmingly innocuous voice that radiates joy but has a feel of sadness at its core. There is light and shadow at play in Lotus’ songs but, until you hit the crestfallen beauty of the piano piece “Back to You,” the former is what is immediately apparent on the surface. “Big Girls” and “Gave It All Away” chime and sway with the understated yet quirky grooves of vintage 10,000 Maniacs. With “Grandpa Song,” Lotus prove that they can slow the tempo without losing their appeal as Elizabeth Grant’s pensive piano paints its own atmospheric setting.
The band’s pastoral flavors mirror the Canadian wilderness that surrounds them; rarely does a group sound so much like their environment. The playful singing and lively flutes of the jazzy “Bewitched” captures the uplifting sense of brotherhood at a campfire get-together; the lyrics, “I just want to drink beer every night,” add to Lotus’ celebration of simple pleasures.