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An album about mental health has picked up the Album Of The Year at this year’s Progressive Music Awards. Held on Thursday 1st September at Underglobe beneath Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, the Progressive Music Awards recognise ‘the great and good of the progressive music world’.

Voted by the public, The Album Of The Year was awarded to Lighthouse, an album by the Russian band iamthemorning. The band is comprised of singer Marjana Semkina and pianist Gleb Kolyadin. Released in April 2016 by Kscope Records, Lighthouse is a story of the progression of mental illness and the stages that the central character goes through.

Speaking about the lyrics and their inspiration, Marjana said “people seem to disregard the matter of mental health far too often, refuse to talk about it, and this is damaging for those who need help. We didn’t want people to think that there’s no hope left, therefore there’s an end to the story that can be interpreted the way the listener wants – but it’s always hope, it’s always an open ending for us. Even the title of the album itself, Lighthouse, suggests that there is hope; even the artwork that still gives light though being swallowed by the sea.”

“This album is dedicated to the subject of mental illness and we’d like to pass on the message to all the lost souls out there; you are not alone, ever” Lighthouse sleeve-notes.

On being nominated, Marjana said: “We’ve worked so hard for such a long time to make an album that would make us proud and I think we can say we succeeded with Lighthouse. Being nominated for the Album Of The Year among the best of the best is such a beautiful thing, a humbling thing, too. And to us, it doesn’t really matter if we win or not – being nominated helped us to spread the word about this album even more and that means more people will hear it. And since the album is dedicated to the subject of mental illness, it’s important for me to know that it is not being rejected by the listeners because of being heavy. The more people who face these struggles and hear the album and find help in it, the better.”

iamthemorning was formed in 2010 in St Petersburg, Russia.  Lighthouse is the follow up to the band’s 2014 album Belighted and features guests Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) and Mariusz Duda (Riverside, Lunatic Soul). Musically, Lighthouse is a rich and eclectic album with echoes of classical music, the Canterbury scene, northern folk, jazz and electronic sounds.

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