Lost Horizons Share New Video ‘In Quiet Moments’ Ft. Ural Thomas

Lost Horizons Share New Video ‘In Quiet Moments’ Ft. Ural Thomas

JD Nash

“When I first heard the song, I thought it was such a wonderful thing, both open and calm, with that steady, insistent groove. The chords go from looming to embracing then back again, like a sad, friendly giant.” – Ural Thomas

Lost Horizons – the project of Cocteau Twins’ Simon Raymonde & Richie Thomas of Dif Juz – released part one of its new album In Quiet Moments at the end of 2020 and is set to release part two, as well as the physical of the double album, on February 26th via Bella Union. Every track on the album features a guest vocalist, and today’s new single “In Quiet Moments” features Ural Thomas, an 82-year old Portland-based singer who learned to sing in church and went on to perform with the likes of Etta James, Otis Redding, James Brown and Stevie Wonder.

Of the track, Simon Raymonde of Lost Horizons says: “Sometimes you just have a clear vision for a song and then try as you might, it doesn’t quite hit the mark and other times, you’re not quite sure where it’s going and then all of sudden it’s like The Matrix and you’re buzzing! I’d been talking to Ural and his team since I heard about him earlier that year, and they were all working on a new Ural Thomas and The Pain album, but just as I finished the bass part on our piece, which Richie had started at a session in London, my inner voice was screaming “ASK URAL TO SING!” Scott and Brent who are his producers and write with Ural and in his band too, responded very positively to my enquiry and said Ural was into it, and it looked like they could do it all at their studio in Portland , AND film him at the same time as they were making a documentary about him! I couldn’t believe my luck. After he was done with the first half of the song I asked if he could make the ending spoken-word in the style of Gil Scott-Heron and he did something ad-libbed which I loved. I then asked Wendi Rose who sings with Spiritualized to add some of her beautiful vocals and I think this took it all to the next level. Paul Gregory and Jonathan Wilson also played some delicious guitar parts which were the fairy dust on top!”

Ural Thomas added: “When I first heard the song, I thought it was such a wonderful thing, both open and calm, with that steady, insistent groove. The chords go from looming to embracing then back again, like a sad, friendly giant. It took a quiet moment to go over it in my mind and then we were off and running with the tune. At times I feel strong and one with the world.  At other times I feel tiny and solitary.  In a way they’re two parts of the same feeling. That sense of being closed in and defined by walls became more real just a short while after we worked on the song.  But we’re all those other things, too—connected, hopeful, with a long arc that will go beyond this time.”

Ural Thomas Photo by Ric Walters

Ural Thomas was born in Louisiana in 1939, learning to sing in church. The seventh of sixteen children, his family relocated to Portland, Oregon when he was a young child. Thomas became a professional singer as a young man in the 1950s, with over forty performances at the Apollo Theatre in Manhattan, New York. He worked with or opened for musicians such as Etta James, Otis Redding, James Brown and Stevie Wonder. Thomas moved back to Portland in 1968. After this not much is known, until the early 2010s when Scott Magee, a Portland-based soul DJ, learned via the owner of Mississippi Records that Thomas – whose early records he spun – still lived in Portland. Despite having weekly jam sessions in his home, a tradition started in the 1970s, Thomas seldom played live shows. Together, Thomas and Magee created Ural Thomas and the Pain, an eight-piece backing band for Thomas’s vocals. The group has released two full length albums: 2016’s self-titled release and 2018’s The Right Time.

In 2017, Simon Raymonde and Richie Thomas had both abstained from making music for 20 years until they united as Lost Horizons and released a stunning debut album, Ojalá – the Spanish word for “hopefully” or “God willing.”

“These days, we need hope more than ever, for a better world.” Thomas said at the time. “And this album has given me a lot of hope. To reconnect with music…. And the hope for another Lost Horizons record!”

Thomas’ hopes had a mixed response. On the plus side, the new Lost Horizons album In Quiet Moments is an even stronger successor to Ojalá with another distinguished cast of guest singers and a handful of supporting instrumentalists embellishing the core duo’s gorgeously free-flowing and loose-limbed blueprint that one writer astutely labelled, “melancholy-delia.”

On the minus side, any hope for a better world, as Earth continues to freefall toward political and social meltdown. Then, to make matters worse, as Raymonde and Thomas buckled down to create the improvised bedrock that Lost Horizons is built on, the former’s mother died. At least Raymonde had a way to channel his grief. “The way improvisation works,” he says, “it’s just what’s going on with your body at the time, to let it out.”

Raymonde (bass, guitar, keyboards, production) and Thomas (drums, occasional keys and guitar) forged ahead, creating 16 instrumental tracks to send to prospective guests. When he did, Raymonde suggested a guiding theme for their lyrics: “Death and rebirth. Of loved ones, of ideals, at an age when many artists that have inspired us are also dead, and the planet isn’t far behind. But I also said, ‘The most important part is to just do your own thing, and have fun.”

And then Covid-19 hit. Half of In Quiet Moments’ lyrics were written after lockdown, but Raymonde saw a silver lining: people were slowing down and taking stock of their lives. Hearing a lyric written by veteran singer Ural Thomas, known as “Portland’s Pillar of Soul”, who fronts the title track, Raymonde singled out the phrase “in quiet moments” and made it the album title. “It just made sense,” he says. “This moment of contemplation in life is really beautiful. The title also went with the album cover, a photograph by Jacques-Henri Lartigue from the 1940s of a woman and dog on a beach, captured as if in flight.”

Lost Horizons’ melancholy-delia also feels buoyed aloft by airy currents, informed in part by Raymonde and Thomas’ former respective bands: the legendary Cocteau Twins and Dif Juz. Their former bands were labelmates on 4AD in the mid-80s, which is how they first met.

In Quiet Moments has its pockets of loss but – aligned to the concept of ‘hope’ – the album is more about rebirth than death. “I think it’s more joyous than Ojalá,” says Thomas. “But both albums have a great energy about them.”

Those energy levels undulate across a dazzling array of moods and voices; as broad as the name Lost Horizons sounds. Take the first three tracks: the melting rapture of “Halcyon” featuring Jack Wolter of Bella Union signings Penelope Isles, the simmering urban-soulful “I Woke Up With An Open Heart” featuring Nubiya Brandon of The Hempolics and the quintessentially melancholy-delic “Grey Tower” featuring a returning Tim Smith.

Also returning from Ojalá are Gemma Dunleavy, Karen Peris (the innocence mission), Cameron Neal (Horse Thief) and Marissa Nadler. The last three are all Bella Union family members; likewise, John Grant (the lush, choral “Cordelia”, etched by David Rothon’s pedal steel and Fiona Brice’s elegant strings) and Ren Harvieu (a sultry “Unravelling In Slow Motion”), and new signing Laura Groves (the jazz-tinged “Blue Soul”), all making their Lost Horizons debuts.

Dana Margolin of the hugely acclaimed Porridge Radio lends the rampant “One For Regret’’ her trademark bristling energy; at the other end of the spectrum, ‘Flutter’ features Rosie Blair (of former Bella Union signing Ballet School) adding exquisite blue notes to a stark palate of Thomas’ piano and Fiona Brice’s strings. Deploying his A&R acumen, Raymonde called on new Swedish discovery Kavi Kwai for the Cocteaus-evoking “Every Beat That Passed” (“You can’t make music for as long as I have and drop all your influences and habits overnight,” says Raymonde). Also present are Lily Wolter (of Penelope Isles) under her solo pseudonym KookieLou, and C Duncan. A richer and more varied cast list would be very hard to find.

“I think In Quiet Moments is more in the direction of where we’re going,” Thomas concludes. “People have retreated into their lives and, in those quiet moments, reflected on the world, how we fit in and who we trust. Maybe the next album will be about rebellion! But the road is long and winding. We just need to express ourselves in how we feel at the time.”

Lost Horizons
Ural Thomas and the Pain

*Feature image courtesy of the artist

Arthur Conley – Sweet Soul Music

Do you like good music?
Huh, that sweet soul music
Just as long as it’s swinging
Oh, yeah
Oh, yeah

Way out here on the floor, ya’ll
Ah, going to a go-go
Dancing with the music
Oh, yeah
Oh, yeah

Spotlight on Lou Rawls, ya’ll
Ah, don’t he look boss, ya’ll
Singing ‘Love’s a Hurtin Thing’, yall
Oh, yeah
Oh, yeah

Spotlight on Sam and Dave, ya’ll
Oh, don’t they look great y’all?
Singing, ‘Hold On I’m Coming’
Oh, yeah
Oh, yeah

Spotlight on Wilson Pickett, now
That wicked Wilson Pickett
Singing, ‘Mustang Sally’
Oh, yeah
Oh, yeah

Spotlight on Otis Redding, now
Singing ‘Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa’
‘Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa’
Oh, yeah
Oh, yeah
Get it Otis

Spotlight on James Brown, ya’ll
He’s the king of them all, ya’ll
He’s the king of them all, ya’ll
Oh, yeah
Oh, yeah

Do ya like good music?
That sweet soul music
Just long as it’s swinging
Oh, yeah
Oh, yeah

I got to get the feeling
I got to get the feeling
Do ya like good music?
That sweet soul music
Help me get the feeling
I want to get the feeling
Otis Redding’s got the feeling

James Brown he got the feeling
Oh, I love good music

TLC – Way Back (Lyric Video)

[Verse: T-Boz]
It’s been a long, long time comin’
Ain’t seen you around
Time keeps on passin’
But you still my bitch
Can’t tell us nothin’
And it’s nothin’ but a thing, to pick up where we left off (yeah)

[Pre-Chorus: Chilli]
Don’t you ever think
Back on all that other shit we went through
You know I remember (yeah)
Don’t you ever wish
One day we could reminisce
It feels like, we were just together
Cause we go way back

[Hook]
Like Prince and Marvin Gaye
Like South side on Sunday
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah, you and me
Cause we go way back
James Brown and Michael J
Like them high school parties
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah, you and me
We go way back

[Verse: Snoop]
Twistin’ up a twenty sack
Fishin’, listen, reminiscin’ bout the days of way back
Aye, where the ladies at?
I need a fine one, top designer
Baby can you help me find one?
A real one, not a phony, I wanna homie
Never leave me lonely, be my tenderoni
One hour photo together, take a few flicks together, that’ll last forever
Whether, we do, you do? me too
See through it all, now creep with the Dogg
Don’t let the rain drops stop ya, I got ya
This is so evolutionary proper
Now what the future holds, no one knows
But the past is a blast, game overload
It’s like Good Times, my favorite episodes
I’m just the same OG, givin’ y’all a little TLC

[Verse: T-Boz]
I’d like to think, when we were growin’ (growin’)
And shit got tough, we kept it goin’ (goin’)
Out in the streets, no signs of slowin’ (yeah)
It’s still nothin’ but a thing, to pick up where we left off (yeah)

[Pre-Chorus: Chilli]
Don’t you ever think
Back on all that other shit we went through
You know I remember (yeah)
Don’t you ever wish
One day we could reminisce
It feels like, we were just together
Cause we go way back

[Hook]
Like Prince and Marvin Gaye
Like South side on Sunday
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah, you and me
Cause we go way back
James Brown and Michael J
Like them high school parties
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah, you and me

[Bridge]
We go way back
Way back, way back, way back, way back (yeah)
Cause we go way back
Way back, way back, way back, way back
We go way back

[Hook]
Like Prince and Marvin Gaye
Like South side on Sunday
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah, you and me
Cause we go way back
James Brown and Michael J
Like them high school parties
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah, you and me

TLC – Way Back (feat. Snoop Dogg)

[Verse: T-Boz]
It’s been a long, long time comin’
Ain’t seen you around
Time keeps on passin’
But you still my bitch
Can’t tell us nothin’
And it’s nothin’ but a thing, to pick up where we left off (yeah)

[Pre-Chorus: Chilli]
Don’t you ever think
Back on all that other shit we went through
You know I remember (yeah)
Don’t you ever wish
One day we could reminisce
It feels like, we were just together
Cause we go way back

[Hook]
Like Prince and Marvin Gaye
Like South side on Sunday
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah, you and me
Cause we go way back
James Brown and Michael J
Like them high school parties
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah, you and me
We go way back

[Verse: Snoop]
Twistin’ up a twenty sack
Fishin’, listen, reminiscin’ bout the days of way back
Aye, where the ladies at?
I need a fine one, top designer
Baby can you help find one?
A real one, not a phony, I wanna homie
Never leave me lonely, be my tenderoni
When our photo together, take a few flicks together, that’ll last forever
Whether, we do, you do? me too
See through it all, now creep with the Dogg
Don’t let the rain drops stop ya, I got ya
This is so evolutionary proper
Now what the future holds, no one knows
But the past is a blast, game overload
It’s like Good Times, my favorite episodes
I’m just the same OG, givin’ y’all a little TLC

[Verse: T-Boz]
I’d like to think, when we were growin’ (growin’)
And shit got tough, we kept it goin’ (goin’)
Out in the streets, no signs of slowin’ (yeah)
It’s still nothin’ but a thing, to pick up where we left off (yeah)

[Pre-Chorus: Chilli]
Don’t you ever think
Back on all that other shit we went through
You know I remember (yeah)
Don’t you ever wish
One day we could reminisce
It feels like, we were just together
Cause we go way back

[Hook]
Like Prince and Marvin Gaye
Like South side on Sunday
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah, you and me
Cause we go way back
James Brown and Michael J
Like them high school parties
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah, you and me

[Bridge]
We go way back
Way back, way back, way back, way back (yeah)
Cause we go way back
Way back, way back, way back, way back
We go way back

[Hook]
Like Prince and Marvin Gaye
Like South side on Sunday
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah, you and me
Cause we go way back
James Brown and Michael J
Like them high school parties
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah, you and me

U-Free – My New Black Benzo lyrics

So you say you like my new black Merce
And I say I like you, dear
All I really need is to stop for a sec
​To get a six-pack of beer

Drape your pretty legs on the dash
Unloose your hair and put on your shades
You can be sure I have enough cash
​And certainly ain’t got no AIDS

It’s so great to have you on the front seat
And drive like Max
To the cop behind the billboard say “Bye”!
Oh, baby, lift me up, take me to the top!
I really ***** want this
Baby, keep it up and please don’t stop
And then give me one more hot kiss
Sugar, take me down, shaking like James Brown
And now ***** you see
What we two can be
When we are free
My sweet girl, you and me
Oh yeah!

Let’s drive down Interstate 92
It’s pretty cool from what I’ve heard
We’ll find some place to get you a tattoo:
A dragon and a bird

My buddy just came back from doing time
Hard labor on this road
No cracks or bumps, benzo fine
​He really did a good job!

It’s so great to have you on the front seat
And drive like Max
To the cop behind the billboard say “Bye”!
Oh, baby, lift me up, take me to the top!
I really ***** want this
Baby, keep it up and please don’t stop
And then give me one more hot kiss
Sugar, take me down, shaking like James Brown
And now ***** you see
What we two can be
When we are free
My sweet girl, you and me
Oh yeah!

(Let’s drive down)
(Let’s drive down)
(Let’s drive down)
(Let’s drive down)

Oh, baby, lift me up, take me to the top!
I really ***** want this
Oh baby, keep it up and please don’t stop
And then give me one more hot kiss
Sugar, take me down, shaking like James Brown
And now ***** you see
What we two can be
When we are free
My sweet girl, you and me
Oh yeah!

TLC – Way Back Lyrics

Don’t you ever wish
One day we could reminisce
It feels like we were just together
Cause we go way back

[Hook]
Like Prince and Marvin Gaye
Like soft side on Sunday
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah you and me
Cause we go way back
James Brown and Michael J
Like old high school parties
Some things don’t ever change
Yeah you and me
Cause we go way back
James Brown and Michael J
I don’t…

I love to think
When we were growin
We kept it goin’ goin’
Out in the streets
It’s still nothin’ but a thing
To pick up where we left off

Ice Cube – Nobody Wants To Die (Mafia III Trailer)

[Intro]
Everybody wants to go to Heaven
Y’all thought I was soft as cotton
Everybody wants to go to Heaven
Messed around and forgot I was rotten
Everybody wants to go to Heaven
You know my resume
You tell ’em I’m on my way
But nobody (You tell ’em, I’m on my way)
Ah nobody wants to die

[Verse 1]
I keep my mind on my money, I keep my hand on my gunny
Don’t get to playin’ with sonny, unless you Playboy Bunny
I’ll put four in your tummy, tap two in your brain
See the man ain’t playing, if you think it’s a game
Haters whisper my name, suckers want what I slang
Arrogant and I’m vain, DA want me to hang
But let me explain, like Abel and Cain
That the black Grim Reaper is not my brother’s keeper
Revenge, revenge a killer’s on a binge of revenge
It depends if I can live with my sins
Lose family and friends (lost em all)
Now you got to lose life and limb, spit phlegm on them
Got the code of Rakim, homey, jokes ain’t allowed
And you boy ain’t scared to move the crowd with something loud
If you doubt what I’m about, go ahead an run your mouth
I’m the last thing you see when your time is running out, trick

[Hook]
Everybody wants to go to Heaven
I’ll send you fast boy, with a blast boy (first class, boy)
Everybody wants to go to Heaven
Messin’ with the wrong one, send you on that long run
Everybody wants to go to Heaven (I ain’t the one, son)
Pop you like a pro, now you good to go (yeah)
But nobody (Nobody, nobody, nobody, nobody)
Ah nobody wants to die

[Verse 2]
You forgot where I come from, you forgot what I do
You forgot what you was sayin’, cuz I’m blockin’ your view
Now I got you on cue, you about to turn blue
Get around me now you actin’ like my little nephew
Boy what you wan’ do? You ain’t gon’ do ish
But go take a ish, is ’bout as funky as it get
Now I’ma have to admit, that I was prolly too nice
But take my advice or I’ll take your life
Now if you still wanna slice, let’s start with the fingers
Let’s move to the toes, and end with the penis
See men are from Mars, now you from Venus
How dumb you got to be tryin’ to think with the genius
It’s the big payback, you can’t clown James Brown
See a brother been down ever since Jamestown
You either swim or you’re drowned, you either gagged or you’re bound
Now you can’t make a sound, boy look at you now

[Hook]
Everybody wants to go to Heaven
I’ll send you fast boy, with a blast boy (first class, boy)
Everybody wants to go to Heaven
Messin’ with the wrong one, send you on that long run
Everybody wants to go to Heaven (I ain’t the one, Crip)
Pop you like a pro, now you good to go (Go on)
But nobody (Nobody, na)
Ah nobody wants to die

Fitz And The Tantrums – HandClap lyrics

Turn it up…!

Somebody save your soul cause you’ve been sinning in this city I know
Too many troubles, all these lovers got you losing control
You’re like a drug to me, a luxury, my sugar and gold
I want the good life
Every good night you’re a hard one to hold
Cause you don’t even know
I can make your hands clap
Said I can make your hands clap

Somebody save your soul cause you’ve been sinning in this city I know
Too many troubles, all these lovers got you losing control
You’re like a drug to me, a luxury, my sugar and gold
I want your sex and your affection when they’re holdin’ you close

Cause you don’t even know
I can make your hands clap
Said I can make your hands clap

Every night when the stars come out
Am I the only living soul around?
Need to believe you could hold me down
Cause I’m in need of somethin’ good right now
We could be screamin’ till the sun comes out
And when we wake we’d be the only sound
I get on my knees and say a prayer: James Brown

That I can make your hands clap
That I can make your hands clap
(Turn it up)
That I can make your hands clap

My flesh is searchin’ for your worst and best, don’t ever deny
I’m like a stranger, gimme me danger
All your wrongs and your rights
Secrets on Broadway to the freeway, you’re a keeper of crimes
Fear no conviction, grapes of wrath can only sweeten your wine

But you don’t even know
I can make your hands clap
Said I can make your hands clap

Every night when the stars come out
Am I the only living soul around?
Need to believe you could hold me down
Cause I’m in need of somethin’ good right now
We could be screamin’ till the sun comes out
And when we wake we’d be the only sound
I get on my knees and say a prayer: James Brown

That I can make your hands clap
That I can make your hands clap
That I can make your hands clap
That I can make your hands clap

(So can I get a handclap?)

Fitz And The Tantrums – HandClap lyrics

(Turn it up)

Somebody save your soul cause you’ve been sinning in this city I know
Too many troubles, all these lovers got you losing control
You’re like a drug to me, a luxury, my sugar and gold
I want the good life
Every good night you’re a hard one to hold
Cause you don’t even know
I can make your hands clap
Said I can make your hands clap

Somebody save your soul cause you’ve been sinning in this city I know
Too many troubles, all these lovers got you losing control
You’re like a drug to me, a luxury, my sugar and gold
I want your sex and your affection when they’re holdin’ you close

Cause you don’t even know
I can make your hands clap
Said I can make your hands clap

Every night when the stars come out
Am I the only living soul around?
Need to believe you could hold me down
Cause I’m in need of somethin’ good right now
We could be screamin’ till the sun comes out
And when we wake we’d be the only sound
I get on my knees and say a prayer: James Brown

That I can make your hands clap
That I can make your hands clap
(Turn it up)
That I can make your hands clap

My flesh is searchin’ for your worst and best, don’t ever deny
I’m like a stranger, gimme me danger
All your wrongs and your rights
Secrets on Broadway to the freeway, you’re a keeper of crimes
Fear no conviction, grapes of wrath can only sweeten your wine

But you don’t even know
I can make your hands clap
Said I can make your hands clap

Every night when the stars come out
Am I the only living soul around?
Need to believe you could hold me down
Cause I’m in need of somethin’ good right now
We could be screamin’ till the sun comes out
And when we wake we’d be the only sound
I get on my knees and say a prayer: James Brown

That I can make your hands clap
That I can make your hands clap
That I can make your hands clap
That I can make your hands clap
So can I get a handclap?