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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dan's Pick of the Week: Giving and Receiving by LAKE

     The band, LAKE, hails from Olympia, Washington, and they are currently on tour along the West Coast. They offer a mixture of folk, early pop and variations of jazz and afrobeat. Their name stands for the first initials of the original four members: Lindsay Schief, Ashley Erikkson, Kenny Tarantino and Eli Moore. The current members are all but Kenny Tarantino, with additional members Andrew Dorsett, Adam Oelsner, and Markly Marson. They all have solo projects of their own, which means that the entire band is talented and experienced. 
     Although fans of LAKE are probably tired of hearing the reference, this band did in fact write the credit song to Adventure Time, which is titled “Island Song”, but an alternate version titled “Christmas Island” was put in their second studio album, Let’s Build A Roof, which was released back in 2009. The difference is a slight change in instrumentation and lyrics. If you like that song, then you should definitely continue reading this post.  
     I am currently a huge fan of this band mainly because of their artful, laid back music and overall originality. I hope to see more music from them this year as a follow up from their previous album Giving and Receiving, which was released in 2011 as their third album from K Records, the company that brought you Atlas Sound and The Microphones. Unlike a lot of bands, LAKE is consistent in the way they make their music. The only change was that for their last album, the band switched from cassette to digital recording, not to update their technology, but because their original equipment was damaged. Other than that, the album, Giving and Receiving, gives off the similar vibe as the other albums, but do not let this dissuade you. Almost every song of theirs is a unique melody that is catchy and authentic. 
     The intro is no more than a brief indie rock tune, but the first full length track, “One Small Step”, is an upbeat song that adds to the album’s introduction. “Roger Miller” is the third track that has a very jazzy feel to it. The album then turns it’s head to more of a pop tune titled “Within/Without”, but it still maintains that authentic light hearted feel. 
     The song “Giving and Receiving” is about the recent Gulf oil spill, which was a major issue at the time when the album was made. This track and the song “Skeleton Costume” portray a darker side to the album where LAKE sings, “Walking away from the ruins/How many bodies are buried?” The album title is exactly what it is about, giving and receiving, and it is saying that there is still hope for a world that is lacking faith. This message should be seen much more in music, because at least for me, music is something that we hear as reassurance that beauty still exists in our reality. It is their to inspire us in various ways; an act that sheds light onto others, so in other words, when we give we receive.
     The whole second half of the album is beautiful and well arranged. “Mother Nature’s Promise” is another upbeat song that has a catchy vibe to it. “Pilgrims Day” is a heartwarming melody that reminds me of Bon Iver’s early songs. My favorite track would have to be “Effects”, which feels like a plunge into deep waters, but occasionally it surfaces and resolves. “Distant Stars” is another great tune that ends the album very nicely. The only problem I have with the album is that songs like “The Stars” end when they just start to get good, while “Mother Nature’s Promise” sounds more drawn out than it should be. I liked the Intro and Interlude, but again they are very short. 
     Overall, Giving and Receiving is an amazing album filled with catchy, upbeat, and beautiful songs, with a great message as well. I look forward to hearing more of their music, but for now I would definitely recommend listening to this whole album. 

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