“The smell of our nitrocellulose lacquered guitars” is listed as an influence on Gold Lake’s Facebook page, though the first 60 seconds or so of their debut album Years exist without them.
The aroma wafts in soon enough, though. Just as you begin to ease into the syrupy, mellow, absentminded pop, the Brooklyn-based trio surprises you with a pocket of thoughtful instrumentalism. Simple, infectious melodies sneak up on you, pouring out of a gauzy guitar, resting for a fleeting moment on your conscience, before disappearing again like magic into what might have been described as dream pop before the shell cracked.
In ‘We Already Exist’ and ‘Light Into the West’, harmonies and layering help to build up a larger sound, though the group creates the most magic in their softer moments, zeroed in on one woozy guitar or piano.
Gold Lake reflect upon life both lyrically and musically, with lines from “As we tear at our clothes like there’s something to find” in ‘Lovers’, to “Teenage lust is all we ever wanted / Seems so strange, when everything is tainted / And all you say / There’s nothing to care about” in ‘Alpide Belt’, which ends with an effective summary of the album: “I know a place where we could try to take us back into the dream”.
In ‘Home’, the trio releases you into a sort of trance that you feel as though you may have been on the verge of from the beginning. Yes, these pop dreamers are more sophisticated than they may let on.
“I’m older than it seems,” breathes Spanish-born Lua on ‘Severed Land/The Sound’, and throughout the album, you begin to feel that. Something in her voice almost gives you the impression that she’s grown up or been through something within the natural progression of the album, which ends with ‘Silver Debbie’, an instrumental track that leaves you feeling vaguely uneasy. If that’s intentional, it’s genius, and if not, it still feels a little like genius.
For more on Gold Lake, visit goldlakeband.com.