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Reviewed by Joel Thomas

Lake South: If You’re Born On An Island The Ocean Heals You

Reviewed by Joel Thomas

Lake South: If You’re Born On An Island The Ocean Heals You

Lake South ’s debut album is a well-written dream, carefully produced by Joshua Lynn at Thinkt in Auckland. Lingering synths, dreamy vocal effects and lush backing vocals give it air, while the occasional acoustic guitar or field recordings are among a range of instrumentation and sounds that ground the tracks back in the earthly world. The result is songs that are textured and shimmery, but still relatable and tangible rather than a total dreamscape. Emotions we can relate to give us glimpses into the writer’s perspective. Almost all instruments are performed by Lake Smith (formerly Urbantramper) himself, with drums by Eddie Crawshaw, vocals and bass by Seamus Maguire, and more bvs from Nadia Reid, Felicity Herbertson and Penelope Esplin. Though Lake South has undeniable international influences this music is unashamedly Kiwi, with NZ accents slicing through the arrangements. He sings about abandoning home to move to the big city, the draining but hopeful nature of love, and living with no money as a result of gentrification. The production themes of combining more natural sounds with detached electronic instrumentation work well with the themes of nature vs. technology. Lake South seems to accept the reality of modern living, but questions if it’s really the way to happiness. In  Renters, the lyrics hope; ‘I wanna live in it/In the town where I grew up, on this land that I love.’ Songs are well-structured and tend to flow freely as melodies are layered together and the music escalates to a climax. The sound is comparable to M83, Christchurch’s Yumi Zouma and Cliff Martinez’s scoring in a Nicolas Winding Refn film.