Lost Horizon



In their earliest incarnation, Friends of Dean Martinez were sort of a cactus league Ventures, writing spiny, windswept instrumentals that imagined the Rat Pack carousing in the Mojave. Ten years and numerous lineup shifts later FoDM is now a trio led by Texas-based steel guitarist Bill Elm. And while vestiges of that tumbleweed lounge music remain, Lost Horizon digs deeper and burns brighter, becoming more than just music without words. The shift was evident in the thick shadows of 2004’s Random Harvest, and it comes to fruition on Horizon, where guitar and subtle electronics flicker over crisp drumming that gives the occasionally drifty compositions real backbone. The dry, resonating acoustic tones of “Dusk” and the lazier notes in “Departure” hark back to the arid desert, but it’s in the lengthy “Landfall” or the lingering noir mirage “All in the Golden Afternoon” that the trio really finds something tangible, something shimmering beyond instrumental. It’s in the half smile of “Two Hundred Miles” and the howling guitar fuzz of “Hidden Out of Sight,” a sense of weight and dusk shared with Air’s music for Virgin Suicides or the post-rock sweep of Explosions in the Sky. In a word, Lost Horizon grips.

Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.