June 30 — “Just Kids” by Echo Lake

Echo Lake

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Just Kids” by Echo Lake (2012, from the album Wild Peace).

Echo Lake is a psychedelic dream-pop band from London who have just released their debut record this week. For most bands, the release of the debut album is a very exciting thing. Especially when the album is as good and the future is as bright as it is for Echo Lake. However, they were beset with tragedy just a few days before the release of Wild Peace. Their drummer, Peter Hayes (who is at left in the picture) passed away on Thursday June 21, 2012. He was only 25 years old.

Hayes had been battling an unnamed illness for some time, but he never let it get him down. Thom Hill, who plays guitar in Echo Lake and who was a life-long friend of Hayes, wrote a touching tribute to him on the band’s website. I encourage you all to read it here. A page has been set up with a donation pool which will go to the British Heart Foundation. Go here to donate to the cause.

While Hayes’ death is a devastating loss for the band, they can be very proud of their debut record, and eventually, they’ll carry on. They were scheduled to play an album release party next Wednesday, but they had no choice but to cancel that party.

When they released their debut EP Young Silence last year, the critics were wowed. A lot of people wrote things like “flying close to the sun” and “gorgeous, swirling, hypnotic dream-pop”, and “miles of reverb”. You get the picture. That release wasn’t on my radar. I didn’t know a thing about Echo Lake until I was tooling around on the Slumberland Records website on Tuesday. I listened to the song “Even The Blind” and knew that I had to get their record. I had some eMusic credits that were about to expire, so I used them for Wild Peace. Interestingly, there are two other completely different bands on eMu who are called Echo Lake. Don’t make any mistakes. If you use eMu, and you want to get the album, just pay attention to what you’re doing so you don’t get the wrong thing. If you want to order the EP, just go to the No Pain in Pop web store. I actually just downloaded it from there, as I’m typing this.

This isn’t about last year’s EP, though. This is about a new song from the brand new album.
This is that song.

“Just Kids” by Echo Lake

I’ll admit that it take a good while for the song to get going. It’s what comes after it gets going that counts. If the first 4:57 is kinda sleepy, the last 1:59 totally makes up for it. It’s that point in the song when the guitar and the drumming take a Galaxie 500 turn. It’s always a very good thing to come off sounding like Galaxie 500. Earlier in the song, at 2:40, there was just a hint of Galaxie 500 in the guitar. Here, though, it’s guitar and drums. It was most likely a conscious effort. It’s the only time on the album when I think they sound like Galaxie 500. Most of the time, I’d hesitate to throw out a “sounds like” comparison, because they don’t really “sound like” anything specifically. It’s just hazy dream pop sprinkled with some electronics. More dark than light. More fuzzy than crisp.

If you live in the US, you should buy a physical copy of Wild Peace through Slumberland Records here. Just do it quickly. Ma and Pa Slumberland will be taking a half day on July 3 and won’t be back in the office until July 11. So if you want your Echo Lake and you want to support Ma and Pa Slumberland in the process, do it now or hold your peace for a week.

Of course you can purchase legal digital downloads from many places, including amazon and eMu. I’ll suggest those if you must go with a digital copy.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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