LAKE’s new album Let’s Build A Roof [KLP213], produced by Northwest legend Karl Blau, is sweet, funky and nostalgic – a paragon of psychedelic pop. Their previous album, Oh, the Places We’ll Go, contained lighter, more upbeat numbers, but its theme of wonder and idealism foreshadowed the next album to come. Let’s Build a Roof is like a travelogue of the places they went, the stories they encountered on the way, and the memories that were unearthed from those experiences, be they good or bad.
Eli Moore and Ashley Eriksson’s radiating songwriting chemistry serves as the foundation of Let’s Build a Roof. Their retro-jingly pop aesthetic is further fleshed out with thicker instrumentation (featuring a rotating cast of synths, keys, guitar, flutes and assorted percussions) and tempo shifts that fracture into kaleidoscopic sounds and harmonies.
Every track stands out as a unique gem. The album opens suddenly with the rolling, pulsating song “Breathing.” A bell rings, a door opens, and an ominous chord is struck on the piano. The strong force of apop journey is about to begin. Like a storybook, each song unfolds new characters and different walks of life, or death, as is the case in the dubby, slow-groove track “Madagascar.” Although there are many divergent styles on the record, the elements that tie the songs together are in the images and lyrical themes; like the image of the collapsing home, or of fear itself.
The second song, “Gravel,” with its marimbas and chilling, punchy horns, is an African funk-infused portrait of a fragile figure caught up in a whirlwind of responsibilities. “Sing 99 and 90,” a rendition of a medieval folk song, is a trip to the past with 70s rock influences and call and response harmonies. Similarly, “Loose Wind” is an excellent example of LAKE’s history as a Fleetwood Mac cover band. An alternately bubbly, prog-ditty, “Winking Sign,” juxtaposes an unlucky dining experience with a little girl afraid of murky water. And if the stories start to make you feel like life is hopeless, or you too have become overwhelmed with life’s terrors, you will feel a change of heart with the motivational disco-soul song, “Don’t Give Up.”
Without sacrificing the wonder and childlike beauty that has been the face of LAKE for the past four years, Let’s Build a Roof proves that wonder and beauty aren’t just kids stuff. This is LAKE’s most sophisticated record to date.
Let’s Build a Roof
Street Date: Oct. 6, 2009
4. Sing 99 and 90
6. The Roof Caves In
7. Loose Wind
8. Winking Sign
9. Remote Control Cars
10. Don’t Give Up
11. Christmas Island
12. Collapsing Homes
Label Page – www.krecs.com/html/artists/artistbio.php?interest=107
Artist Page – www.laketheband.com
MySpace – www.myspace.com/lakemusicmusic