Hope. Warmth. Companionship. Few things in this world can conjure up such sensations quite like the sight of a glowing lantern in a darkened window.
“The glowing lantern is a universal symbol for sanctuary,” says Mother Hips co-founder Tim Bluhm. “That’s what we wanted this album to be: a warm safe place to get in out of the dark cold night.”
Written and recorded through the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, Glowing Lantern is indeed a work of great comfort, even as it grapples with the profound anxiety of these troubling and uncertain times. The songs here are weighty, abstract ruminations wrapped in unflagging optimism, bittersweet streams of consciousness delivered with a jaunty confidence in better days to come. Bluhm and fellow co-founder Greg Loiacono produced the album themselves, and the juxtaposition of darkness and light in their stark lyrics and buoyant arrangements reflect a tension familiar to anyone who’s ever struggled to find their footing or make sense of the inexplicable. At the heart of it all, though, is a distinct sense of camaraderie, a feeling of closeness and brotherhood that the band has ironically only come to rediscover as a result of the past year of isolation and lockdowns. Glowing Lantern is as collaborative a record as The Mother Hips have ever made, and it’s impossible not to feel the joy, gratitude, and friendship radiating out of it like a beacon in the night.