El Lago | Colors
Family Average: 4/7
El Lago translates to “The Lake” when run through my google translate. That being said it is also a pretty cool dreamy pop band. They come from the far away land of Texas. There the warm air, and kindly folk conjure up the optimal environment for dispensing music of the etherial genre. Go take a look for yourself. You know you want to.
Listen along on Their Bandcamp and read on to find out:
No surprise, I’m sure, but anything that skews shoegaze or dream pop is a winner with me. So, congrats El Lago, because I was in your corner the minute I heard the breathy, Bjork-like vocals, and that hazy but sharp guitar. They’ve created a sort of effervescent dreamscape with synthy, pedal drenched tracks that just lifts you up. And while there is some heavy ‘80s and ‘90s influence to the tracks, it feels current in its succinct production, psychedelic tenors, and layered compositions. It’s very nuanced with a certain elegance that is really captivating. These guys are swimming through heady texture, emitting a stunning sort of tactility and manifestation of energy. One could argue the album lacks a bit of variation, as the tracks somewhat bleed together, but in my opinion it functions as one extensive opus -- very shoegaze. As a debut EP, Colors smashes it, showcasing a heck of a lot of refinement and potential.
As I start to listen to El Lago's album Colors, I'm picturing myself back at my old college venue, a small dark garage aptly named "smog" late-ish on a weeknight, kind of absentmindedly swaying along to the music. A bit into the first track "Tentative Threads" I realize I'm feeling really kind of sad. I look around and see that everyone around me seems to be lost in their own little melancholy worlds as well. By the third track I realize that I'm not just swaying anymore, I'm head bobbing. I'm feeling this kind of sad empowerment. I fade in and out of this feeling through the rest of the show, walk back to my florescent lit dorm room, and stay up writing some weird shit in my journal until 4 am.
The sound is kind of Explosions in the Sky-y with vocals from Evanescence's hipster cousin singing some Beach House-y lyrics, with the occasional Animal Collective-y kaleidoscope gurgle in the background. This is a "get sad to me" album. It wants me to have some sort of existential crisis, to tune in and out and have some sad thoughts along the way and then turn it into something weird. Saving this one for a rainy day when I want to go sit in a puddle and swim in it.
What we have here is the essential well balanced Dream Pop album. Not unlike the essential well balanced breakfast. However where the breakfast has mostly eggs, orange juice, and other stuff the album takes another turn. Instead we are treated to soaring guitars, low pulsating fuzz, tight reserved drums, and some somber vocals. The word that kept coming to mind was balanced so I guess that is where that tangent came from.
Fans of the fuzzier side of dream pop will appreciate songs like “Colors”, and “Dinner Guests”. For me this is where the album struck my heart muscles. When that deep rumbling guitar wraps all around you it’s like a warm blanket.
Even still the vocals really were what stood out to me most on this album. It brought my mind to other classic Dream pop, and Shoegaze bands. Acts like Slowdive, and Asobi Seksu. I just love how the vocals are able to cut through all the noise, and pour this somber tone all over the whole album. It gets to the point where it is saturated with emotions in the best way.
I am not someone who will ever pass up a solid entry to the Dream Pop genre, and if you can get down with that I say pick this puppy up for a spin.
This is a very trippy indipop album. I must admit that I was drawn to the Daphne Blue Fender Mustang. My very first guitar was a Dakota Red 1966 Mustang, which was lots of fun.
This is a talented bunch, this music would serve you well on a rainy day. It was the perfect backdrop for doing routine tasks such as cleaning your fish tank, or painting your apartment or working some art with with watercolors. You definitely can get lost in your thoughts listening to this music. If you are smart you will let it take you to a dreamlike state. The true stand out was “Colors” on this track I think her vocals really shine. This is the title track, which for some reason they selected to be the final track, but i guess that was their way of ending the album on a positive note, with the listener wanting to hear more.
Listening to the 1st track, I wrote down “psychedelic dream pop”. They are talented musicians for sure. The signer has a beautiful voiced matched well to this genre. The arrangements and song quality are very strong. Unfortunately, this just isn’t music I am particularly interested in listening too. I often feel terrible when I have this reaction to what is clearly good music. I can absolutely appreciate the workmanship and effort that went into making this album. This was not an album thrown together or “phoned in” like others we have reviewed from time to time. The band is a strong cohesive unit and puts out beautiful songs through their well coordinated efforts and musical abilities. I give this album