[sic] Magazine

Black Swan Lane – Hide In View

Black Swan Lanes’ latest album, Hide In View is another compelling collection of atmospheric alt rock. Anyone yearning for the heyday of UK post punk, shoegaze and Brit rock need simply look across the pond. BSL will service your needs and more. This Atlanta act will take you on a whole new journey, one which will delight and fascinate in equal measure.

BSL’s line up and subsequent sound has evolved over the bands lifetime. At times BSL has been somewhat of an amorphous ‘project’ with a revolving door of contributors. This has helped nuance each different release yet BSL has always been at its very best when making distinctly themed and classically structured albums. Hide In View does precisely this. It has a strong opening, a wonderful finale and a smörgåsbord of brilliant, varied material in between. The opening, title track is catchy and accessible with little percussive pops and mystical guitar swathes reminiscent of Echo And The Bunnymens’ Will Sergeant or The Chameleons Dave Fielding, himself an alumni from the previous BSL album.

Position #2, oft reserved for the BSL power track, shows no deviation on ‘Smiling With You’. Yet elsewhere they do vary their repertoire. The superb ‘Fear’ brings to mind early Jesus And Mary Chain. ‘Not About Me’ has a garage/surf/…almost psychobilly feel while ‘Control’, the first promotional single, is a jabbing finger of bitterness falling somewhere between glam rock and the angular staccato of Interpol/Television. This is a perceptible ‘change up’ for BSL. Rather than departures, these songs provide an added sheen of dynamism for the band. What makes it all the more impressive is that showrunner Jack Sobel did everything on this album. Co-founder John Kolbeck moved away from the area and Covid19 measures prevented Dave Fielding from reprising his dazzling guest role. That revolving BSL door stopped spinning. Fortunately for us the somnambulist Sobel has a home studio and in turn we have his de facto first solo album.

Hide In View

Full artwork

Rather like The Chameleons own Strange Times, Hide In View is an album that tends toward darker, bleaker material. Any gloom, however, is punctuated with hope. The albums opening salvo is illuminated by the astonishing ‘Little Bird’. Picture ‘Back To The Old House’ in the hands of Cocteau Twins and you’ll have an inkling why ‘Little Bird’ is truly one of the songs of the year. ‘Wish’ is right out of the BSL ‘dreamy’ playbook. I just wanted to lose myself in its wistful jam. The subsequent album climax is another knockout blow. ‘Throwing Stones’ is archetypal BSL with dueling guitars and Sobels cavernous vocal. Thematically it encapsulates the whole album and feels like a culmination of ideas that have been percolating since the last release.

If you already know BSL’s work, rest easy, Hide In View is right up there. The new album material stands alongside the groups deepest cuts. It’s good to see them getting some traction with other publications now too because they deserve to be heard. If you’re new yourself and you like what you hear, congratulations, you may well have discovered your latest favourite band.

For fans of The Chameleons, The Smiths, Ride, Kitchens Of Distinction, House Of Love, Editors

Hide In View is released Nov 2nd. Preorders are shipping out now. Look out on the BSL store for an eye-popping nine album deal.


Buy the album.

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