Sci-fi Sky is the sixth LP from Lebanon Hanover and with it you can tell just how far they’ve come to master their craft. Larissa “Iceglass” Georgiou and William Maybelline’s stellar pairing has produced some of the most wonderful post-punk and darkwave music through the years, and this latest offering may just be their most diverse and expansive collection yet.
True to the genre of literature that serves as its namesake, Sci-fi Sky reads like an anthology collection with strong themes and its own distinctive sound. Timely staples such as the degradation of humanity in the digital age, mental anguish and substance abuse are present in this album along with more fantastic ideas such as prophesized children, ancient rituals and dark offerings to appease an unknown entity.
Gergiou and Maybelline alternate on the vocals for every track, making it feel like the listener is being flung across multiple worlds. Gergiou’s elegant voice and stylish delivery contrasts with Maybelline’s gritty baritone that feels tailor-made for darkwave. This one-two combination gives them the versatility to crafting these otherworldly moods and stories that these songs convey.
“Living on the edge” opens the album, evoking imagery of a highly urbanized city with its dazzling electronica. Gergiou’s voice evokes the grandeur of the city life while narrates the gloom and angst of living in a fast-paced society. “The Last thing” is an emotional reflection on life. It imagines the world ending as we know it, and begs the question: “Did we have each other enough? / Did we connect deep enough?” Questions worth pondering, especially in this day and age. Listening to these songs, it’s not hard to see why Georgiou has adapted the moniker of Iceglass.
Elsewhere, on the other side of the duo we have grittier, more apocalyptic sounding tracks. The second single “Digital Ocean” is filled with hazy noise that blurs the whole track. Maybelline laments on us losing our human connections in a highly digitized world. It’s dark and foreboding, with a line that we can all relate to: “superficial ego collapse / trapped in a make up store / waiting for my new mac.”
With each track highly distinctive from one another, it’s easy to get lost in the pages of Sci-fi Sky. It’s as if Lebanon Hanover took the entirety of the genre along with its decades of influences and shaped their own captivating world of sound. It’s a world that we may dread to live in, but it’s still a world with hope.