Friday, December 21, 2012
Lakes on Quemada Records
Lakes is the solo outlet for Sean Bailey out of Melbourne, Australia. I was just talking to Darren from Velocity of Sound Records about our year end picks of singles (podcast coming soon) and how much great music happens to be coming out of Australia lately. UV Race, Eddy and Kitchen's Floor just off the top of my head. I know it's a big place but it can't be coincidence for this much great stuff to find it's way over to our shores and this single is no exception...another talent that just happens to be from that prison colony.
Pleasantly gloomy, there's a brittleness to "Crossed with Leaves", it's got a heavy drum that's buried under a long delay with a still and subtle acoustic and bass. When an artist sticks to the traditional take on this kind of dark/goth, it takes me right back to those great sounds on Faith. There was nothing longer and sadder. Here Sean is going for something landing fully on the dark side, not just a I-happen-to-be-depressed...AGAIN, but a sort of actively protesting these feelings, a little angry even. A real Joy Division sound. I just read a piece over at Collapse Board and Scott Creany is absolutely right, comparing Interpol to JD now sounds ridiculous, but I assure you Lakes is most definitely in the same neighborhood...in the best way. I think anyone looking to get into this sort of nihilism and hopelessness should remember those early cure albus and JD, (duh - ed) but specifically the way they could make a dreary fugue out of nothing much in terms of pedals or effects. It was pure melody. Sure, this leans heavily on the booming toms which almost turn into kettle drums at points here, but the minor interlocking melodies are what gives this it's impenetrably black sheen. On vinyl things start shaking, but it's the rock part of things that takes this great places like the equally opaque, Lust For Youth. Lakes is all in those minimal melodies and great vocals and if Sean is putting this whole package together himself, then I completely applaud him.
It's taken notes from Pink Reason and Zola Jesus...the similar ways they get right into the very beginnings of this genre. It takes me back anyway to dark days on the school bus picking me up nine thousand miles from my house before the sun was even up. Bauhaus would happen to be the only tape in my bag which also happens to make everything look pretty good when the whole town is covered in snow. I have to get more from this guy, he's doing everything right.
B-Side's "Night Lark" takes on a march style rolling snare with sleigh bells, going for that bleak expansive landscape this time. Sleighbells are so seasonal specific. I think I'm actually getting more of his accent here and there's a slightly medieval feel to this, in melody and rhythm. Understated synth, but nothing to distinctive or overwhelming with an acoustic guitar even. How many times does that instrument get used in the heavy goth trade? Could be a traditional mythical culture's funeral song, a sea chanty from the driver on the river styx. I love the tone here, it's really diving deep into the underworld thanks to this great songwriting and solo?!!. Crazy entry point for this guy who seems to have something like twelve albums behind him already.
Pick this up from Quemada Records, your Queens, quickly becoming the NY source for all things awesome and Australian.