Forever or Never
published: 27 /
Nostalgic-sounding yet often innovative eighth album from harmonic husband-and-wife Washington-based duo Lake
Whidbey Island, Washington’s Lake has been creating experimental pop album since Ashley Eriksson and Elijah Moore met back in 2005. On their newest record, 'Forever or Never' the eighth in their catalogue, it is clearly time to start looking at the band as having a legacy, instead of as being the precocious band of innovative outsiders they were on K Records.
For me, Lake’s appeal has always been in their vocals. Eriksson and Moore aren’t just married in life (they met in Olympia, Washington one of the backwater capitals of independent rock) but their voices work together to create a characteristically melodic blend, like honey and warm tea. The appeal is not necessarily in their lyrics; rather, it comes through how each member uses their voice as instruments. Moore is more harmonizer than an esoteric singer. On 'Work With What You Got' his clean style blends perfectly with the crackling beat, one of the sweetest, most summery rock grooves I’ve heard in a long time. He sings with his music, allowing it to wind its way into the mix. On the closer, 'Magazine' Eriksson’s winsome, airy voice delivers the nonsense lyrics with smart girl charm and big girl bite. Instrumentally, Lake re-imagines the heyday of radio crafted Fleetwood Mac and Steely Dan with unique dexterity and humor. Moore delivers on a pretty sway groove from time to time. Their songs, 'Give Back' and 'Forever or Never' are melancholic, cocoon creating hip shakers that really defy the notion that we are living in the cynical times. While this record is heavily influenced by radio rock nostalgia, Lake also deftly creates a few innovative nuggets, delving into chamber pop, 'Trouble' and some crashing melodrama, as on 'Gone Against the Wind' or the curiously intertwining vocals on 'Push and Pull'.
Lake fans are going to fall in love with 'Forever or Never', for a lot of the same reasons that they did with albums before. Through the years the band has dispensed with a lot of the experimentation – this isn’t 'Gravel' or 'First Album' – settling for a much more sublime and comfortable range of craft. The band’s chemistry is still top notch though and their humane lyrical conceits could not be timelier.
On the Swing
Work with What You Got
Gone Against the Wind
Push and Pull
Forever or Never
We Can Work It Out