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Album Review: Rim of the World by Lantern By Sea

It’s good. It’s really freaking good.

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By Andy McFerren

Do you believe in ghosts? In my first year of law school, we had a heated discussion in my property law class on the existence of ghosts, which was surprisingly relevant to the case we were studying that day. The case revolved around a question of whether or not a buyer may rescind their contract to buy a house after the seller disclosed to them that the house was haunted, something which was allegedly not disclosed to them previously. 

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One of my classmates was adamant that no reasonable person would believe in ghosts, and therefore, the buyer should have to follow through with their contract to buy the house. My friends and I disagreed and contended that a belief in ghosts or the supernatural was commonplace (Stambovsky v. Ackley if anyone is interested. I can’t for the life of me remember the ruling).

Lantern By Sea
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I would like to further my argument that ghosts exist through Lantern By Sea’s debut album, Rim of the World. Whether it be the ghosts of their past, or simply the fear of failure, it’s clear that this band is haunted. Plus, there’s an entire song called “Ghost Story” in which lead singer Porter Smith sings “I’m the ghost” multiple times, and he even later admits to being haunted in the song “Bloodhound.” Fortunately for all parties involved, this haunting has a much better outcome than your typical horror film. 

Talks of ghosts and ghouls aside, listening to this album now several months after its release in March of 2022 has confirmed one thing: it’s good. It’s really freaking good. So good that for the first time in my life, I decided I was going to ask the artist I’m writing about a legitimate question. I wanted to ask something that’s been plaguing my thoughts since the album dropped in March: Is it true that they just really love lighthouses? I was disappointed when the response I received was a blatant lie. “I bloody hate lighthouses.” 

Reader, I’d like to point out two things: (1) Their merch has a lighthouse on it; and (2) If AI were asked to extend the album art, the first thing it would add would be a lighthouse just out of frame to the left. The nerve and audacity to tell such a bold-faced lie. I had to respect it.

Porter Smith of Lantern By Sea
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Despite the lies and deceit, I must admit that Lantern By Sea does a terrific job of painting a picture of embarking on a journey. The sincere lyrics combined with Smith’s vocals sound like a call to action, which when added to the airy guitar and concussive drums, give the album a cinematic depth. It’s Bilbo Baggins running through the Shire, exclaiming he’s going on an adventure. It’s an epic narrative in album form, which makes sense given that one of the influences the band cites as inspiration for the album is A Black Mile To The Surface by Manchester Orchestra. 

In short, this album is a delight that never gets old, no matter how many times you listen to it. Make sure to follow Lantern By Sea on Instagram. You can listen to “Bloodhound” below!

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