Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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The members of Olympia's LAKE are incredibly prolific musicians. Each of the five members has solo projects and they play both together and separately in various other bands, but when they get together as LAKE, they create something pretty magical. Oh, the Places We'll Go is their third album to be officially released (rumor has it they've recorded many more) and it's a tiny masterpiece of 2000s indie pop. The band shares songwriting and singing chores with equal proportion of male and female voices, the girls sounding sweet and soulful, the boys coming over as sensitive but not drippy. And they sound great when they join together in chorus or harmony, like a campfire singalong at the nicest summer camp you could imagine. The songs they put their voices to are incredibly hooky and fun, ranging from indie-club friendly (the insanely catchy title track, the almost funky "Counting," which half hijacks a classic Rolling Stones riff) to dreamily melancholic ("Bad Dream," "On the Swing"), from atmospheric ("Minor Trip") to flat-out wonderful ("Blue Ocean Blue"). It's a short album, almost 27 minutes, but there isn't a wasted moment or false move. The closest comparison you could draw is to Architecture in Helsinki, not because they sound too terribly similar, but because they share the same lo-fi but well-crafted approach to arranging (flutes, horns, tinny drum machines, and all sorts of percussion bolster the sound) and recording. They also write similarly childlike but sophisticated songs that might appear lightweight but stick with you for a long time. There's also some P:ano in LAKE's sound, mostly in the musical theater-y song structure of a few of the songs. Mentioning those two names should clue you in to just how good LAKE is and how good Oh, the Places We'll Go is. In case you need it spelled out.....Oh, the Places We'll Go is very, very good.


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