Lofter: The art acoustic band from Sheffield with a new EP

Wednesday 13th March 2019

The 'Liminal' EP by Sheffield-based trio LOFTER is available now through Proost


The radical arts and worship entity Proost have just released a limited edition EP by Sheffield's Lofter. The band consists of Laurence 'Laul' Keith, Ant Clifford and Ben Cooper. When releasing their 'Raindrop' album through Proost in 2017, Ant spoke about the project, "I love albums that work together as one art piece, and this has been lovingly crafted to be one of them; not just a few catchy singles prefixing a bunch of average tracks." Now the band continues their lovingly crafted philosophy with the 'Liminal' EP (if you don't know what liminal means, its definition is 'relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process'). The band were asked by Proost to give a potted history about themselves.

Lofter: Laul and Ant formed the band all the way back in 2002, and Laul left after a year or so. Ant kept the band going on and off through different styles and with different members. In 2016 Ben joined to play percussion, and they made an album, 'Raindrop'. Laul moved back to Sheffield a couple of years ago and re-joined the band and we've been writing and playing live around Sheffield since then.

Proost: A rumour reached Proost HQ that you've played as official House Band at an Ikea launch. . . Is that true?

Lofter: When the new Ikea was opening in Sheffield, they sought us out because they wanted acoustic bands to play. We submitted a proposal that included us and our friends Robberie playing as part of the first month's opening celebrations. Ben had started working there, so would sometimes use his break to come and join us to play in the foyer, complete in IKEA uniform!

Proost: Your music seems diverse in styles and influences. Who are the bands that have influenced what you do?

Lofter: Ben's not a "bands" guy. His influences are based around more diverse and experimental music like Kamasi Washington or Sons Of Kemet. Growing up, Ant and Laul gravitated towards strong song writing, whether that was in indie, grunge and alternative in general. Combined, we've got enough diversity to be something a bit different, especially for acoustic music, and what we do next will also be different to what we've created this time. Because we're an acoustic trio, we don't have your typical band setup, which allows us to have the freedom of a more fragmented approach to our writing and arranging.

Proost: Can you tell us the story behind any of the songs?

Lofter: "Where Angels Sing" was an idea Laul and Ant started on in 2002, that we crafted to a new point while we were writing the others on this EP. "Tropical Cyclone Disaster" allowed us to explore a topical environmental theme, because the main riff behind the song brings a darker intensity that we could build upon. This got us to the point where we could perform them as a trio, but that didn't fulfil the vision of the songs we had written. From this point, we worked on the arrangements when we recorded and added many layers including horns, strings, organ, etc. Together, we crafted the vibe of each track carefully with what we felt were appropriate instrumentation and arrangements so that we could deliver something we are proud of to our listeners. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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