Multi-instrumental, delicate yet exigent; a triad of songs telling you to listen.
Remember that era of indie rock and folk music dominating teen films, creating the manic pixie dream girl and being so cathartic at the same time? Well, the Toronto-based Funeral Lakes are nostalgic of this time in teen history but they are doing it with a twist. The duo use their talents to create protest music, penning lyrics on the Anthropocene, open mindedness and justice.
Funeral Lakes is Sam Mishos (she/her) and Chris Hemer (he/him), having formed in 2018 by self-producing sounds in their Vancouver apartment before moving to Ontario. ‘Golden Season’ is the latest EP from the duo, premiering in September of this year. The EP, consisting of three tracks, is a result of a two-day studio stint in Vancouver last January. Following the eponymous debut album in 2019, Funeral Lakes are determining what it is to be neo folk and alternative and the messages that this genre can deliver.
First track ‘Eternal Return’ gives the duo vocal echo akin to Of Monsters and Men and The Lumineers in its Americanised folk-sound, raspy versus delicate tones. The bond of sweetly strung acoustic and electric guitars lull you into a dreamscape that reaches climax at the entrance of clashing cymbals and a faster strung guitar, going hand in hand with the anger that leaps from the lyrics and yells of Mishos and Hemer in the songs close.
‘Earth Falls’ captures a Brandon Flowers style main vocal with a backdrop of leading riffs and indie pop synths. ‘Power Trip’ is then the full circle for the EP’s exigent message and build up with Mishos taking centre stage on the tracks vocals. ‘So self-assured in your perfect world, if you don’t have to why would you learn?’ is the final tracks opening lines that will jilt any listener to really hear the duo beyond the music, moving from politicians and outside sources in track one to personal responsibility and direct address in track three. Mishos’ vocals are combined with the alternative electric riffs that ascertain the chorus of ‘Power Trip’, whilst the bridge ‘erase me, berate me’ cleverly juxtaposes in its confrontation and imperative nature.
Perhaps it’s time to give space for the international indie and alternative acts to reclaim their popularity such as in the latter 00s and early 2010s, as they not only bring a nostalgia of those times but also a newly-enlightened protest. Protest music which itself is a sign of the times at present.
Check out their bandcamp