Lanterna was a dream-pop group from Champaign, Illinois. It was a project of Henry Frayne, who was the guitar player and founder of the Champaign dream-pop band The Moon Seven Times. M7X put out three pretty stellar records in the early-to-mid 1990s before they got dropped by their label. I’ll write about M7X at some point. I promise that. Frayne and M7X drummer Brendan Gamble (who also used to play drums in the much more well-known band Poster Children) set out to start a new project. They had actually already been doing stuff on the side of M7X, but it was time to turn it into a full-time thing. The first proper Lanterna album that got a proper release was 1995’s Lanterna, which was released on the Champaign-based Parasol Records. This record was later re-released on Rykodisk. The next proper album didn’t come out until 2001. Elm Street was written in 1999, but didn’t get released until 2001 after Badman Recordings founder Dylan Magierek stepped in to finish the project that Frayne had given up on. That same label put out a bunch of those fantastic tribute albums (such as the tribute to John Denver that I’ve written about at least twice) and some of Mark Kozelek’s solo stuff. It’s from this second album that tonight’s song comes.
On the early stuff, Gamble was heavily involved, and M7X singer Lynn Canfield even sang a little bit, but by 2001, it was just Frayne and a different drummer. Of the stuff on Elm Street, tonight’s song is the most M7X-ish. Here it is:
“Thirty” by Lanterna
I’m not exactly sure why, but I’m vaguely reminded of the Red House Painters cover of “Silly Love Songs”. And that, by the way, is a brilliant thing. If you’ve never heard it, you need to remedy that right now. It’s a completely different version than the original Wings version, and it’s really amazing.
That’s not why I like this song, but it sure helps. I love how delicate and airy the guitar is. It’s like floating on a cloud. That’s pretty much it.
Elm Street is out of print, but easy enough to find used. For example, in the amazon store here.