aaron powell has provided a steady output of sparse, affecting bedroom pop over the past couple of years as fog lake, yielding 2014’s virgo indigo and last year’s victoria park. the st. john’s-based artist will release an as-yet untitled full-length this fall, again via orchid tapes; today, powell shared “rattlesnake,” a new single from the project featuring angular melodies spliced into a warm, more inviting backdrop that is eventually swallowed up by the crinkling sounds of an aging tape machine. take a listen below.
fog lake is the recording moniker of aaron powell. the project based out of st. john’s, newfoundland, and the feeling of loneliness that permeates his newest album, virgo indigo, seems very fitting, even if i am only romanticizing the disconnect hypothetically experienced in northeast canada. a lot of the loneliness stems from powell’s prowess at writing really sad, guitar-based pop songs, akin to the aesthetic elliott smith established almost twenty years ago. examples of this kind of songwriting are nestled in album standouts like “little black balloon” and “dream gate,” which have the fortunate coincidence of being sequential in the album’s tracklist.
sad bastard may be the predominating quality throughout virgo indigo, but it’s worth noting that powell’s influences certainly don’t come across as one-dimensional. fog lake’s music is right at home with contemporaries like coma cinema and little kid, similar recording projects that have only recently made the venture into high fidelity realms. powell is equally adept at creating lush, ambient music, but his ability to do so in moderation gives virgo indigo an entirely different quality of restraint and hesitation. album opener “fading away” may initially seem like a misnomer or a foil to the rest of fog lake’s content, but it merely serves as an introduction to “transcanada,” the centerpiece of virgo indigo that provides an adequate transition to its b-side.
virgo indigo is a lovely mixture of pop and ambient music that retains an ethereal, melancholy quality throughout its entire duration. it only makes sense that the album would be released through brooklyn microlabel orchid tapes, who have been knocking everything out of the park as of late, and it would only make further sense that all fifty cassettes sold within a day of the album’s release. luckily, you can download virgo indigo for free via fog lake’s bandcamp and cross your fingers that orchid tapes will offer a cassette reissue sometime in the near future.