Album Review: The Lathums – ‘How Beautiful Life Can Be’

The Lathums have been one of the most exciting indie bands for a good few years now. However, until today, they didn’t even have an album under their belts. But now, How Beautiful Life Can Be has been unveiled, and Gemma Cockrell gives her thoughts on the Wigan indie outfit’s debut.

How to approach your debut album is always a difficult decision for a band, especially when you have already experienced as much popularity and success as The Lathums have. The common question is: should we record an entire album of new tracks for our debut, or should we include some of our older songs too? The Lathums opted to do the latter. They re-recorded new versions of Fight On, The Great Escape, I Know That Much and Artificial Screens to appear on How Beautiful Life Can Be, as well as including the track I See Your Ghost from their Ghosts EP in its original form.

Of the remaining seven tracks, three were released as singles: Oh My Love, How Beautiful Life Can Be, and I’ll Get By. All went for a very similar approach – positive, uplifting, and happy acoustic guitar tunes. Positivity has always been at the core of The Lathums’ music, and these tracks demonstrated that the band have really perfected this message and this sound. This leaves only four brand new, never heard before songs on release day – a decision that was likely made for the benefit of unfamiliar listeners who are discovering The Lathums for the first time via the album, rather than for long-term fans. Because ultimately, as someone who has been a fan of the band for a while, this release didn’t give me all too many new The Lathums songs to hear.

The re-recorded songs are undeniably brilliant, and deserve to be given a larger platform rather than being forgotten about

I don’t mean to be too negative, because this isn’t an entirely bad thing. What How Beautiful Life Can Be does well is it provides a cohesive project of The Lathums at their best. Even though it does seem quite like a ‘Greatest Hits So Far’ album, the re-recorded songs are undeniably brilliant, and deserve to be given a larger platform rather than being forgotten about and getting lost in their discography.

The new songs on the album are also well worth a mention. Album opener Circles of Faith features some impressive falsetto vocals on the chorus, while the album closer The Redemption Of Sonic Beauty is perhaps the most compelling vocal performance I have ever heard frontman Alex Moore deliver.

All things considered: this is a good album from start to end. Sure, the roll-out might have been a bit unconventional, but regardless, The Lathums have managed to successfully capture the best of themselves across a concise album of the perfect length. I can’t wait to see them perform these new tracks live at their Rock City show on 2nd October.

Written by: Gemma Cockrell

Edited by: Joe Hughes

Featured and in- article images courtesy of The Lathums via Facebook and YouTube