Remember the name… Jake Lake
Published on February 13th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
First up in a brand new series of hearty Rocksucker recommendations is the bewitchingly beautiful sound of Jake Lake, Scotland’s answer to “what’s the question?”, and quite possibly the new black. Have a listen to his new album, right now…
Who are you and where do you come from?
Hi, I’m Jake Lake. I’m from a little farming village on the coast of one of the more rural areas of a pretty rural country.
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
A friend described it as Post Folk Rock, but I think he was joking. I’d say I write more vignettes than songs. I like the idea of using the recording process as a way of sculpting something. You build up layers and layers of sound, and then start stripping away until you find what you were looking for, or something that you weren’t looking for but surprises you. Both results are equally rewarding in their own way. Playing something live, to me, is a process of trying to recreate that sculpture in the moment. It’s tough, and I’m still getting used to the mechanics of it.
Who or what are your primary inspirations for music-making?
Someone I know recently introduced me to the music of Phil Evlerum (of the Microphones and latterly Mount Eerie) and Kyle Field (Little Wings). I was really blown away by Phil’s recording techniques and song writing ability. It is some seriously challenging stuff that I don’t even hope to try and emulate, but I do take inspiration from it. As for Little Wings, his lyrical flow blows my mind. It’s as if there is just this constant stream running through him, and all he has to do is open his mouth and he’s coming out with these incredible nonsensical rhymes, which somehow make a whole bunch of sense.
I really admire Marc Ribot as a guitar player and I am also really keen on The Dirty Three. For a three piece (violin, guitar, drums) their music always seems to be way more than the sum of its parts. That, to me, is the mark of a great relationship.
Where can we hear your music?
You can hear my music in several different forms on Soundcloud and Youtube. I have this imaginary label called You Better Run Records, which I use as an umbrella under which to store a whole bunch of different things me and other people have worked on. It is scattered fairly comprehensively through both of the following sites:
Which have been your most exciting gigs so far?
I once played a gig which was broadcast on Chinese state television, in front of a live audience of a thousand people. I played “Auld Lang Syne” with about twenty Chinese kids that I was teaching at the time. I started out on a chair and they were all sitting around my feet, they we all rose, joined hands and started swaying as we sang. Needless to say I was hung-over as all hell, and not responsible for the choice of song.
Other than that, we played a gig last week in a little bar in Edinburgh which went pretty well. You can check out one of the tracks here:
Got any more gigs coming up?
Well, our mandolin player was in a pretty bad motorbike accident a while ago and has been off his feet. He’s coming back to us for good soon, and when he does we’re hoping to become regulars at Out of The Bedroom in the Montague Bar in Edinburgh. Check here for sporadically updated details: www.outofthebedroom.co.uk/ootb/
Recommend three albums that we might not have heard of…
Lost Wisdom by Mount Eerie – This album is just under half an hour long, but it is so intensely beautiful in its simplicity. Phil is joined by Canadian songbird Julie Dorion and fellow musician Fred Squire. Julie’s voice works so well with Phil’s, Fred’s restrained electric guitar complements Phil’s acoustic rumbles so well, and the songs are so beautiful. Perhaps none more so than “Voice in Headphones” which takes the refrain from Bjork’s “Undo” and adds new meaning to them. Mind. Blowing.
Light Green Leaves by Little Wings – This album doesn’t really work if it’s cloudy outside. For full effect, listen to while lying on the grass somewhere in the midday sun, perhaps enjoying a cold beverage or two. Here’s a really sweet version of one of the tone setting tracks of the album (also behold his mighty beard!).
Whatever You Love You Are by The Dirty Three – I don’t love every track on this album, but it does contain some of my favourite Dirty Three tracks. “Some Summers They Drop Like Flies” is creepy to the point of being orgasmic, “I Really Should Have Gone Out Last Nigh” rings with this kind of languor or regret, and “Lullaby For Christie” builds up in such a tender that it completely envelopes you before you even really know what’s happened. As I said, music that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
Any other unsigned artists you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
Ani Deal is on the Edinburgh scene right now and has a really incredible voice.
And there’s this total wizard that I know called a_cow, only got one of his tracks here but it is a chiptune masterpiece of epic 8-bit proportions.
Jake Lake, thank you.