Echo Lake | Wild Peace

By RYAN FOLEY  |  July 3, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars


Few labels have fed the shoegaze/dream-pop hydra as regularly as Oakland-based Slumberland. Wild Peace is the label's latest offering, the debut from London duo Echo Lake. Guitarist Thom Hill never met an effects pedal he didn't like. The melodies in "Last Song of the Year" are like soft ash caught in a swirling updraft. On "Further Down," Linda Jarvis's vocals are so heavy with reverb that it sounds like she's singing at the edge of a massive crater. The pair doesn't blush when glorifying idols: label-mates Black Tambourine; the sometimes cute/sometimes melancholic schoolgirl approach of Amelia Fletcher; and Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser's use of her voice as an instrument. When the final two minutes of "Just Kids" deviates into one of those melodic, break-it-down codas that Galaxie 500 perfected, you might wonder if Echo Lake are merely a caricature of every previous shoegaze and dream-pop outfit. What saves the duo is how splendidly their iridescent sounds can evoke a moment, allowing listeners to lose themselves in the music. When "Monday 5AM" plays, you can picture either standing underneath a Texas-sized spaceship as it slowly descends or watching a butterfly land on a blade of grass. I see a Volkswagen commercial in their future.

Related: Various Artists | Casual Victim Pile: Austin 2010, Bearstronaut | Broken Handclaps, Avi Buffalo | Avi Buffalo, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Arts, Echo Lake,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   YOUNG FATHERS | TAPE ONE  |  December 10, 2012
    Scotland does boldly inventive/wildly playful indie-pop (and prior to that, post-punk) with such machine-like efficiency that it's been a detriment to the country's other genres.
  •   BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW | COBRA JUICY  |  October 09, 2012
    Technology makes secrecy well-nigh impossible, so Black Moth Super Rainbow settle for employing it as a narrative device.
  •   SWANS | THE SEER  |  August 28, 2012
    Swans albums are the unparalleled expression of multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira, who often sounds like he's either deranged with enthusiasm or deranged with bitterness.
  •   SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE | ASCENT  |  August 14, 2012
    Ben Chasny is the thinking man's shredder, a chin-stroking, Gaston Bachelard-quoting antithesis to philistine six-string savants like Steve Vai.
  •   CANDLEMASS | PSALMS FOR THE DEAD  |  July 31, 2012
    If this is truly, certainly, most definitely the final Candlemass album (the doom-metal progenitors called it quits in both 1994 and 2002, only to reform both times), then the swan song on their swan-song release is "Black as Time," a middling, excessively lengthy number.

 See all articles by: RYAN FOLEY