Laterna: Lanterna - Highways
At first blush, Henry Frayne’s echoic, Joshua Tree-inspired guitars—layered over percussion and tape effects—sounds dangerously akin to the music accompanying open-road, luxury sedan commercials. But Frayne’s compositions rise above the New Age/ambient mists because, underneath the atmospherics, Lanterna conjures up solid, memorable melodic themes ranging from edgy (“Brightness”) to elegiac (“Half-Light”). Then you’ve got “Adriatic,” a gentle acoustic number reminiscent of Michael Hedges’ more straightforward compositions. Nothing too earth-shattering here, but no mere “lifestyle” background music either. Highways manages to achieve distinctiveness in a genre that’s all about blending.