Lauren Marie (lyricist, vocals) and Ike Kawaguchi (producer, vocals) started making music together after meeting in Los Angeles a year ago and eventually formed Lolahiko: a combination of Lauren (Lola) and Ike’s middle name, Tochihiko (Hiko). The Year We Died But Stayed Alive is their debut release and we were lucky enough to review it.

With somewhat languid vocals, booming yet laid-back instrumentation, The Year We Died But Stayed Alive is a very moody and enthralling piece of work.

Over six tracks, the bleak, emotional and at times confrontational lyrics of tracks like Funeral and Guts evoke a peculiar mix of melancholy and warmth – as if Morrissey or Joy Division funnelled their sadness and despair with the world through a sun soaked L.A. afternoon rather than the English North of the late 70’s and early 80’s.

Lolahiko seem to have worked in reverse on this release – opening with death and following that with tracks about loss, pain and love to birth, which actually works in an odd way, with a lyrical intensity making way ultimately to a sweet, positive and sublime lullaby, Everleigh.

It really is beautiful in its’ emotional nakedness, from start to finish and well worth a listen. The Year We Died But Stayed Alive was self released by the band on 12th November 2016. Check it out.