LAKE stays afloat with latest album

By Jon Shakesprere


Giving & Receiving

Piccadilly… LAKE

Giving & Receiving

K Records

Rocks like: a disorganized, young Sufjan Stevens

Grade: B+

Nostalgia permeates the indie-pop musings of LAKE. Rollicking hills, small, inviting homes and the simplicity of the country all seem to find their way into the message this quintet from Washington has for its fans.

Giving & Receiving diverges significantly from the group’s previously conflicted Let’s Build a Roof — which mixes too many elements — by reassuring the listener that an overall theme or message is not always needed, but simplicity and organization can truly convey importance.

Despite being primarily recorded and produced during the days right after the Gulf oil tragedy, the record’s uplifting theme of realizing what we as people are given and how we can repay this generosity keeps it poignant and relevant.

With soaring melodies that surround and gentle instrumentation that soothes, LAKE’s sound emphasizes the theme of positivity without making it feel overdone or forced, and a touch of soul adds a certain depth to the standards of pop and rock the band employs.

“One Small Step,” a clear standout on the album, combines an early ’90s feel with a contemporary indie-rock feeling, all the while retaining a hushed calmness about it. More electronic and active, “Mother Nature’s Promise,” reflects the variety of the quintet’s production, breaking somewhat from the quintet’s characteristic indie-pop-rock sound. “Distant Stars” sounds like an interlude from a teen drama.

LAKE, with an emerging sound and inspirational view of society, has just the right ingredients to combine catchiness with meaning.

Editor’s Note: “Piccadilly Records” was changed to “K Records” on April 13.