A little delayed, to say the least, but the next band I’m covering are an awesome synth-pop band who formed three years ago while at the grand old University of Westminster. I first heard of these guys through a friend of mine who grew up with the guitarist, Paul. My friend proceeded to tell me how these guys were going to gain a name for themselves in the years to come. It pains me to admit that someone else has intelligence, but I guess my friend was right.
The London Grammar-esque trio, currently based in London, have really pushed boundaries that are difficult to move for smaller bands like themselves. They played their biggest gig at Reading & Leeds Festival last year, playing a 40 minute set on the BBC Introducing stage, which, for a young band, is a huge achievement to be playing at one of the UK’s biggest music festivals.
“Top of the list would have to be playing Reading and Leeds last year, which was an incredible experience for us having grown up going to those festivals!”
I was fortunate enough to see the three of them play their gig at Reading Festival last year and they lived up to every expectation I had of them, and some. Now knowing the guitarist & keys player, Paul – myself and the introducing friend turned up covered in paint on our chests saying “WE LOVE PABLO”. Idiocy pictured below.
Emma’s vocals are just as good live as they are on a recorded track, which is really rare to come across in singers nowadays as so many artists are aided by the commonly used autotune. I once heard a hilariously awful ‘leaked’ track of Beyonce singing live without an autotune that was on her live microphone. Not sure whether it was real but she sure sounded like a tone-deaf teen in the middle of puberty singing live. It’s a big shame that so many artists nowadays utilise autotune to the extent where it gives them so much to live up to when they play live.
It’s no surprise that their favourite gig was playing the giant festival that is Reading & Leeds, but they also noted that they had played some great London gigs for their own fans and supporting other people in the last few years. The three have supported two up-and-coming bands; Fickle Friends and Phoria. Phoria’s music is not dissimilar to Arctic Lake’s, with José González sounding vocals mixed with the synthetic sounds that Moby created.
When it comes to meanings behind writing songs, you half expect there to be a hidden meaning to each song, or even a pivotal moment in the songwriters life that prompted them to write that particular song, but for Arctic Lake it’s a little different.
“We never really say what our songs are about specifically – we prefer people to listen to the lyrics and decide for themselves how they can relate it to something in their own life. Music is all about personal connection and emotion, and we hope that people can find that in our music.”
In leaving it up to the listener as to what they see the song to resemble, it allows them engage with their fans and listeners alike. Their songs have a hearty, deep sound to them and there is warmth in their vocals. ‘Heal Me‘ and ‘Limits‘ are their two most played songs on Spotify and it’s really no surprise why. Both with delicate-enough sounding vocals to chill you out into a musically-induced coma, and both have the synthetic percussion similar to that used in The 1975’s BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Sessions.
The London-formed trio are set to release a set of new tracks very soon which will undoubtedly put them on the map.
“We’re currently working on an EP, which will be released, at some point – hopefully not too far in the future! It’s been a long time coming but we’re hoping people will really like it. We’ve never released more than a few songs at a time so it’s something new for us to do a collection of songs.”
So it’s clear that they’re releasing more songs than your average EP contains which is really exciting news as they look set to show the electronic genre what they’re made of. I’m sure their merged influences will be ever present in their new tracks with each of the three band members into very different styles of music. Pretty cool how three musicians can have completely different tastes in music yet come together and make music that takes on it’s own body.
Emma (vocals) is madly into her Jazz music, Andy (percussion) listens to a lot of 60s artists and Paul (guitar/keys) is into his rock. Combining the three, results in some awesome synth (try saying that quickly) that resonates from the 60s, the bent notes, modes and very distinctive vocals from Jazz music and the ringing guitar that has a similarity to the guitar riffs and solos in some classic 80s rock songs. Pretty ambiguous but I think defining which artists in the three genres might over-complicate where the sounds from their influences are present in their tracks.
They have a lovely, mellowed tone with the soft, yet not subtle vocals seeming to have so much more power to them because of the seemingly anthemic synth sounds in the background.
So when can you catch them? They actually have an EP release show coming up within the next couple of months, but you’ll have to stay connected to them on their many social sites to make sure you’re the first to know when the date/venue is released. Arctic Lake are without a doubt going to take the industry by storm with their song ‘Limits’ having been played on numerous Radio 1 shows by the likes of awesome DJs; Greg James & Scott Mills. I’m sure we’ll see them on Innuendo Bingo in no time.
Their awesome tracks are linked below, along with a link to their Spotify & their social media channels – so you can stay up to date with their gig dates and track releases!
Freeze them all over, Arctic Lake.