Echo Lake – ‘Era’

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The big week of album releases continues with Echo Lake‘s second LP ‘Era’, out now via No Pain In Pop (CD/Vinyl) or download through iTunes. The British band delivered their much loved debut album ‘Wild Peace’ in 2012, a mix of swirling, dream pop anthems. However, it was a bittersweet time due to the passing of drummer Peter Hayes right before release. Do they disband or regroup? The following year singer Linda Jarvis and guitarist Thom Hill resurfaced to begin work on their new ‘Era’ with Misha Herring at Hackney’s Holy Mountain Studio. Their first time working with a producer who could help expand the Echo Lake sound.

‘Era’ is far less pop centric than ‘Wild Peace’, this time round the songs are more ambitious, with open-ended structures that span up to ten minutes. Which is why there’s only seven songs on the 45 minute album. There’s a much stronger psych rock influence and overall, an emphasis on atmosphere rather than melody. The naivety, and even positivity of ‘Wild Peace’ is replaced by a more serious and commanding tone. This evolution may divide existing fans who are looking for a blast of catchy dream pop.

The album begins with ‘Light Sleeper’, a slow building, cinematic epic. Linda’s vocals interject and overlap each other, much like a chant. It’s hard to predict where the song is going, which is one of the album’s big strengths. However, for all the mood setting we need a payoff, and that’s where the lead single ‘Waves’ comes in. A reminder of how brilliant this band are! A near flawless combination of melody, mood and rock n’ roll. The title track is equally impressive, a slight step back in intensity.

The psych pop slow burner ‘Dröm’ is another highlight, even though the lengthy introduction is somewhat superfluous after hearing a similar build in ‘Light Sleeper’, that said, it’s a trippy mood setter. ‘Sun’ and ‘Nothing Lasts’ are the most light hearted moments on the record but aren’t the most compelling. Whereas the closer ‘Heavy Dreaming’ cements Echo Lake’s transition to free flowing psychedelia. It’s the most hypnotic Echo Lake have ever sounded, it’s fantastic to hear them return with such ambition and scope. Not every song rewards you for taking the journey but it’s an otherwise enjoyable trip.

Echo Lake – ‘Era’ [Album Stream]

Visit Echo Lake @ No Pain In Pop @ Facebook.

Echo Lake - 'Era'
SONGWRITING
SOUND & PRODUCTION
REVERB RATING
PRO'S
  • Ambitious new sound
  • Epic arrangements
  • Something for psych fans
CON'S
  • Less pop appeal than 'Wild Peace'
3.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (12 Votes)

Echo Lake – ‘Dröm’

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The world needs more epic intros, ‘Dröm’ provides! It’s the second taste from Echo Lake‘s sophomore album ‘Era’, out March 2 via No Pain In Pop (pre-sale). The London-based band show their experimental side on this track, which opens up into a cascading psych pop feel with hypnotic, overlapping vocals. It follows the lead single ‘Waves’ (video below) and has me counting the days til ‘Era’ lands.

 
Echo Lake – ‘Dröm’

Visit Echo Lake online @ No Pain In Pop @ Facebook.

Echo Lake – ‘Waves’

echo-lake-era-artwork

Echo Lake have announced their second album ‘Era’ will be released on March 2 via No Pain In Pop! It turns out the British dream poppers have been keeping busy following the release of their debut LP ‘Wild Peace’ (and the tragic passing of drummer Peter Hayes). Guitarist Thom Hill and vocalist Linda Jarvis have continued on, spending two years creating ‘Era’ and unveiling the lead single ‘Waves’ this week. The news isn’t a complete surprise given their live shows last year and recent reappearance on the ‘Broken Records’ sampler. ‘Waves’ packs all the blissful melodies you’d expect but pushes the boundary further, stretching out into more progressive territory. Welcome back!

 
Echo Lake – ‘Waves’

Visit Echo Lake @ No Pain In Pop @ iTunes @ Facebook.

Echo Lake – ‘This Year’

marshall teller records-broken record label sampler-artwork

Marshall Teller Records have produced their first sampler ‘Broken Record Vol. 1’ and it’s shaping up to be a special compilation! It includes unreleased songs by “The History Of Apple Pie featuring Gary Jarman of the Cribs (listen), Cheatahs rework Geographic (National) from their recent debut, The Vaccines are morphed by Tom Furse from The Horrors, Great Ytene cover a classic Orange Juice track and Potty Mouth are live from New York’s Glasslands. The record also has new music from Echo Lake, Dignan Porch, Winter Drones, Warm Brains, Parlour and Grass House.” It’s a real treat to hear ‘This Year’, a new song from Echo Lake. It’s been two years since their debut LP ‘Wild Peace’ and the passing of drummer Pete Hayes. But the London five piece are back playing shows and are at work on their second album! Pick up ‘Broken Record Vol. 1’ on vinyl or digital from August 18.

 
Echo Lake – ‘This Year’

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Best Dream Pop Albums Of 2012

The musical gods were kind to fans of dream pop in 2012, there were big blessings for reverb drenched indie lovers and spaced out psych pop enthusiasts! In a crowded genre of talented musicians, this is a shortlist to spark your ears. Here’s the Best Dream Pop Albums Of 2012 according to Sounds Better With Reverb. Note there are bound to be some great records that are missed, so click through and leave a comment at the bottom of the page… or some harshly worded abuse. Stand by for the Shoegaze list, coming shortly.

 

Best Dream Pop Albums Of 2012…

 
1. DIIV – ‘Oshin’ (Captured Tracks) (more)

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DIIV’s debut sits at the top of many end of year lists, so this is little surprise. The New Yorkers came together after Beach Fossils guitarist Zachary Cole Smith decided to start a side project. Now its one of Captured Tracks most lauded acts.’Oshin’ managed to cross the genre divide and connect with a broad audience. Its simple, understated and yet it stays with you. Best digested as a whole, this is a record you need to sit down with.

2. Echo Lake – ‘Wild Peace’ (No Pain In Pop/Slumberland) (more)

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Echo Lake released an incredibly mature debut in ‘Wild Peace’. From start to finish there’s pure pop melodies performed in an otherworldly light, if only mainstream chart acts could write this well. The South Londoners crafted a special album during an uncertain time, due to the illness and passing of drummer Pete Hayes.

3. Tamaryn – ‘Tender New Signs’ (Mexican Summer) (more)

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Another much loved record of 2012. Tamaryn’s brand of sedated dream pop is easily digestible and slowly infectious. The only misstep on ‘Tender New Signs’ is that it doesn’t change gears enough. If there were a few dramatic spikes in energy or instrumentation this would’ve claimed the top spot.

4. Wild Nothing – ‘Nocturne’ (Bella Union/Captured Tracks) (more)

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Wild Nothing’s ‘Gemini’ LP was universally praised, a brilliant debut. Since making those solo recordings in 2010, Jack Tatum assembled a touring band that would record the follow up EP ‘Golden Haze’ and this year’s ‘Nocturne’. Wild Nothing’s sound has changed over the past few years but the songwriting remains strong. Tatum successfully avoided the dreaded second album flop. ‘Nocturne’ is exceptional.

5. Death And Vanilla – ‘Death And Vanilla’ (Hands In The Dark/Kalligrammofon) (more)

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One of the most underrated releases of the year. On first listen ‘Death And Vanilla’ paints a vivid picture that’s cinematic in scope, like a classic soundtrack waiting to happen. A perfect concoction of dreamy psych pop with vintage sounds and sharply composed songs. A must for any fan of the genre.

6. Frankie Rose – ‘Interstellar’ (Memphis Industries/Slumberland) (more)

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Brooklyn’s Frankie Rose (formerly Frankie Rose and the Outs) won over fans again on ‘Interstellar’. The girl pop veteran (Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls) relied less on reverb this time around, instead producing a new wave leaning record. Its full of haunting, melodramatic pop gold – her best work to date.

7. Beach House – ‘Bloom’ (Sub Pop) (more)

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Beach House received so many accolades for their 2010 LP ‘Teen Dream’ that any follow up was destined to fall short. And sure, it’s not ‘Teen Dream’ but ‘Bloom’ is a great listen nonetheless. The Baltimore dream pop duo were criticized for a lack of edge but with stunners like ‘Myth’, ‘The Hours’ and ‘Lazuli’ its too good to ignore.

8. Melody’s Echo Chamber – ‘Melody’s Echo Chamber’ (Fat Possum) (more)

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A suprising debut from solo artist Melody Prochet, a collection of songs where psych meets dream pop. No doubt influenced by the guiding hand of producer Kevin Parker (best known for his work with Tame Impala). The Parisian’s vocals are the perfect match for vintage sounds and trippy instrumentation.

9. Observer Drift – ‘Corridors’ (Forged Artifacts) (more)

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Recorded in a Minneapolis bedroom, ‘Corridors’ is an honest lo-fi release that’s worthy of praise. In some ways ‘Corridors’ is reminiscent of Wild Nothing’s ‘Gemini’. Observer Drift (artist Collin Ward) produced a very personal debut and each song feels well lived in. The rough edges only add to the charm.

10. Violens – ‘True’ (Slumberland) (more)

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New York’s Violens released their super catchy single ‘Totally True’ in April and expectations were set high for the album release. Perhaps too high. ‘True’ is at times too pretty for its own good but there are moments of brilliance. It’ll either strike you or not, that simple.

Dream Pop Albums Of 2012 (notable mentions): Astronauts Etc, Craft Spells, Memoryhouse, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Fight Bite, Shoreline Is.

Is there a gross over sight here? Click through to the Best Dream Pop Albums Of 2012 and get typing.

Echo Lake – 'Wild Peace'

Echo Lake have released the title track from their debut record ‘Wild Peace’ (via Pitchfork) out June 25 (EU – No Pain In Pop) and June 26 (US – Slumberland Records). The London dream poppers have received lots of love since the lead track ‘Even The Blind‘ was released in April. ‘Wild Peace’ is sounding cleaner and more accessible than last year’s ‘Young Silence’ EP. Part of me misses the grit and rawness of that recording but it all comes down to personal preference.

 

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Visit Echo Lake online @ No Pain In Pop @ Slumberland Records @ Facebook.