This one might’ve been in us from the start, says John Hancock. He’s talking about ‘Echos’ – his, Becky Williams, Finn Bjarnson & Ryan Raddon seventh Late Night Alumni long form.

Predominantly known for blending electronic and organic elements into their music, the album represents a departure from the band’s largely house-led sound. An all-acoustic affair, in many ways though ‘Echos’ is a natural extension of LNA’s DNA.  Most of our songs”, John continues,are written in the organic/acoustic realm and then produced with electronic flavours to create our sound. In those intimate song beginnings though, there’s a magic all its own. We’ve long wanted to do an album that captured and augmented that initial intimacy.

Which is indeed what Becky, John, Finn & Ryan have now done. The quartet have dug back into their twenty-year, six-album history and selected eleven tracks that they felt could most benefit from this song-spotlighting treatment. With their original acoustic intros as cues, they’ve taken them to their natural conclusions. A Sliding Doors-type feast for LNA enthusiasts both new and established, or indeed all lovers of downtempo, downtime, live instrumentation-led music, ‘Echos’ releases October 2023.

‘Echos’ embarkation point is ‘Beautiful’, which originally featured on the band’s 2005 debut album. Initially piano-threaded, halfway in it reaches an emotional tipping point, as LNA allow strings to swell through its production. Begging the question ‘when is a cover version not a cover version?!‘, the album moves onto an acoustic retelling of Ryan ‘Kaskade’ Raddon’s ‘4 AM’. Already co-written by his fellow Late Night Alums, here, ‘4 AM’s adopts a more break-of-dawn type feel. Dropping a pin on more latter Late Night times, ‘Even As I Go’ (from 2019’s ‘Silver’ LP) applies a touch more of the orchestral and cinematic tones to its acoustics. ‘Gemini’s playful vocals make easy bedfellows for its new folk flecked production, lending an upbeat, carefree note to ‘Echos’. Returning to ‘Silver’, the string thrum and sweetly sung tones of ‘Love Is A Knife’ bely the song’s smartly observed lyrics. “The more we feel, the more we know” sings Williams, as its production mixes pathos and poignance in equal measure.

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Speaking ahead of the album’s release, “Echos”, says the group, “is a completely organic reimagination of selected songs from our 20-year catalogue. Creating these acoustic versions has made for some of our most inspiring and rewarding times together. We plan to release these songs throughout 2023 and will have much more to share about the project as we get closer to its release. Stay tuned friends!

Finding the emotional middle-ground between its two precursors, ‘You Can Be The One’ dips into ‘Of Birds, Bees, Butterflies, Etc’ – the band’s second album. ‘Mine’ meanwhile introes with the grandly drawn strings of an orchestra before its wrought vocals up the bittersweet lament. As the band’s signature song, ‘Empty Streets’ was the introduction for many to the Alumni. Here, shorn of its familiar 4/4 rhythms, it’s stripped-back nature places more emphasis on the verses, in turn expanding the understanding of the song itself. A nod to the group’s longest standing fans, ‘The Rest Of You’ which followed ‘Empty Streets’ on their debut album, follows suit on ‘Echos’. In respect of its instrumentation and vocal delivery, the track applies Spanish inflexions to deliver an instant chillout classic. With its penultimate number, the band look to their 2013’s ‘A Beat Becomes A Sound’ LP. ‘Sapphire’s arps turn into harps, and more orchestral magnificence still, as Becky Williams channels some inner Bjork into its song. ‘Window’ which signs the album off, serves fans an entirely new LNA number. Sensing its occasion, the track builds drums, percussion and other live elements into its rhythms, as the song’s affecting harmonies and refrains land ‘Echo’s final emotive blows.  

A release that provides the most organic of departures for Light Night Alumni, ‘Echos’ will be released in October of 2023. You can preorder/save it here []