Laki Mera

The Proximity Effect

The Proximity Effect

Wonderful debut albumThe Sunday Times

“This is how it should be done. It the most confident debut I’ve heard in a good while. it has the calm authority of musicians who know exactly what they want to do, are prepared to work stupid hous to realise and perfect it” 8/10 Drowned In Sound

“Inevitable comparisons with Massive Attack and Cocteau Twins..Laki Mera hover around the same bus-stop as the above two bands, as well as Portishead, Radiohead and Sia with a side-order of Beth Orton. Yep, pretty good company, though ultimately they sound like Laki Mera and that’s rare for a band to sound different enough to stand out”

“A sound that falls somewhere between the whispered minimalism of the XX and the glitchy percussion and abrasive electronica that characterised Portishead’s recent work…Donnelly is ever the focal point and she manages a charming vulnerability a la Bjork while retaining control of each song…a performer who is naturally captivating – not an easy thing to find” The Line of Best Fit

Glaswegian quartet Laki Mera extend and weave beyond the expected confines of genre as their boundary-free sound busts conventions like the musical equivalent of breaking the fourth wall. Released late in 2010, the band’s debut EP ‘Clutter’ earned breathless comparisons with artists as diverse as the Cocteau Twins, Portishead, Blue Nile, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Radiohead. Such eclectism reflected the band’s inherent ability to capture a style immediately recognisable, yet in a realm of its own.

The band’s freewheeling direction sees them continue to explore new terrain with their debut album ‘The Proximity Effect’. Their eclecticism continues where ‘Clutter’ left off, as they pursue fragile folk beauty (‘Fingertips’), flourishes of ethereal eeriness with vocalist Laura Donnelly’s tender vocals hanging in the ether like the voice of an imaginary friend (‘Solstice’) and a gloriously atmospheric clash of sinister electronica and enticing pop hooks on ‘More Than You.’ The audacious near instrumental ‘Onion Machine’ provides a mid-album highlight as it employs a retro-futuristic synth riff, an emotive layer of cello, stabs of grinding guitar and an angular time signature.

Laki Mera record at Gobbi and Long’s own Carrier Waves studio in Glasgow. It allows the band the freedom to spend as much time as they want in order to refine their recordings and to indulge in their sonic experimentations. For three songs (‘Double Back’, ‘Reverberation’ and ‘Solstice’) that required a more organic sound, the band decamped to a turf house in Achiltibuie, a small coastal village in the Highlands.

The album’s title was born from an audio engineering term, but it also revealed a second layer of meaning. Collectively, Laki Mera wanted a title that would communicate how people connected on an emotional and psychological level. Not only did ‘The Proximity Effect’ possess a dual meaning, it also conveyed a parallel with the two key components of their musical approach. Or, as Gobbi states, “The technological, electronic element of synthesisers and the organic acoustic feel of pianos, guitars, strings and vocals.”

Laki Mera are defined only by themselves: their music born from a love of innovative, technologic exploration and organic artistry.

“Drawing heavily from trip-hop and ambient electronica influences, Laki Mera craft carefully ordered and simultaneously shambolic soundscapes. The contrast of the pure child-like vocals, restrained by overtly simplified melodies, and the complicated and discomfiting music, layered and looped to produce something truly arresting, is stark throughout the EP. Just as you end a trip to the fairground both vaguely shaken and exhilarated, Clutter is a whirlwind listen that leaves you wanting more.” The 405

“Drawing influences from their fellow Glaswegian ambient maestros The Blue Nile, Laki Mera create lush texural beds of synths, drones and cello to create a richly ambient bed for the fragile Liz Fraser influenced vocals of Laura Donnelly. The ghost of trip hop hangs over the band and they’re in no small debt to the work of the Bristolian greats Massive Attack and Portishead, but there’s enough of an edge to the synths to place them in the present and in Donelly they have a wee starlet waiting to spread her wings” Snipe

Catalogue Number: TAO039


  1. The Beginning of the End
  2. More Than You
  3. Fingertips
  4. Double Back
  5. Onion Machine
  6. How Dare You
  7. Crater
  8. Solstice
  9. Pollak Park
  10. Fool
  11. Reverberation
  12. The End of the Beginning