Based out of Watford, Lakes are a six-piece collective, who are freshly signed to the excellent Big Scary Monsters label. The band have just shared their new album, Start Again, which was recorded with producer Neil Strauch over nine months, affected by the ever-changing Covid restrictions. The album is a follow up to their acclaimed 2019 debut, The Constance LP, which saw the band take their sound across the globe with both shows and acclaim coming in Japan and America.
Discussing Start Again, Lakes have suggested it is, “a testament to the human condition”, a record that explores an array of human experiences whether that’s addiction, mental health struggles or relationships ending. The record’s title track is in some ways also its crowning moment, a reflection of the collective suffering as a result of Covid-19 and isolation, dressed up in a soundtrack of glossy emo-pop, reminiscent of Supermilk or Saves The Day. Elsewhere opening track Blind has a stadium-worthy quality belying the subtlety of the bright glockenspiel-led melody, while Get Better details the process of recovery via non-judgemental love, and sets it to a world of urgent guitars and joyously cathartic vocal yelps. By the time the record comes to a close on the rambunctious closer Animals, it feels like Lakes have taken you on a journey through the human psyche, yet it is a record that never slides away from joyous musicality. Their commitment to combining 80s pop-rock to the Midwestern-emo they so obviously adore resulting in a record that’s a delight to listen to. They might be wildly out of step with current musical trends, yet Lakes are all the better for it: fans of unashamedly emotive guitar-pop, you might just have found your new favourite band.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Lakes?
Lakes is six people called Roberto, Blue, Matt, Rob, Gareth and Charlie. We used to be from Watford but we’re slowly spreading out around a much greater London area.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Our first show was in April 2018 for Record Store Day. The LP Cafe in Watford created a huge day of music in multiple venues around Watford – without doubt the most ambitious music event ever in Watford. We played middle of the afternoon at The White Lion on St Albans Road, mostly with a lot of pretty heavy bands. Right before our set all the drum hardware was taken away, I still don’t really know why. Lots of phone calls were made and we scrambled together just enough stands to get a useable drum kit although there was no clutch for the hi-hat so I played the whole set with no control of the hi-hats which was interesting. I also remember that gig as the start of our long and treacherous journey learning how to mic a glockenspiel live. It didn’t go well that day and there was more feedback than glock notes.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Personally for me, because music has always been my entire life, and I have always felt compelled to be creating or enjoying it in some way. I have never felt that same passion/obsession with another art form.
FTR: What can people expect from the Lakes live show?
It’s basically a beefed up version of what you hear on record. I think we get a little more carried away live, show less restraint, turn everything up a bit and hit stuff harder. I guess we all love heavy music as well as this twinkly stuff and part of us just lets loose a bit more when we play live!
FTR: What’s next for Lakes?
Album is out July 30th! We have a launch gig that evening at Signature Brew, Haggerston, which is our first show in 17 months and we are super excited. We then have a mini tour with best band and best buds I Feel Fine in September. There”ll be more shows later on in the year to announce soon. Plus we’re writing new music right now and are already excited about it!
They Listen To…
Beabadoobee – Last Day On Earth
Slow Pulp – At It Again
I Feel Fine – Selfsame
Flight Mode – Fossil Fuel
Judas Knife – Lumbering Giant
Start Again is out July 30th via Big Scary Monsters (UK) / Know Hope Records (US). For more information on Lakes visit https://www.ourbandlakes.com/.