Echo Lake + Evans The Death
The Lexington, London
October 1, 2012

To say that 2012 hasn’t been the easiest of years for Echo Lake would be a sad understatement. The tragic loss of their drummer Pete Hayes coinciding with the release of their debut album was a crushing setback for this wonderful London band-in-ascendant. To make a difficult time that much harder, vocalist Linda Jarvis recently broke her collarbone in a bicycle accident and prior to the show was walking around with her arm in a sling. For a band on the first date of their postponed album tour you have to admire the way Echo Lake have handled the cards dealt them.

Evans The Death too seemed to shoulder the awkward uncertainty of the night, taking a few songs before they seemed to get going. Whether it was from their own admission of not having  played a show in months or dodgy stage sound (vocalist Katherine Whittaker keeping everything in key with one finger in her ear) they were endearing and likable despite looking just a little uncomfortable. Though that could probably be put down to the usual standoffish London crowd. Their self-titled debut released earlier this year was a sumptuous burst of 80’s kitchen sink pop dramas punchily delivered and emotionally broken enough to avoid falling headfirst into twee-ville. A hurrah of sorts.

For the most part, Echo Lake kick about in the Galaxie 500/Velvet Underground sandpit —  a mood, a melody, amplified and enveloped, but indulge in more of a contemporary feel akin to that of Beach House and Deerhunter. As influences go, they’re untouchable. Echo Lake excel in the free-falling soundscape, tethered by Jarvis’ keys, gamely played tonight with both hands, sans sling, and guitarist Thom Hill’s chiming chords. In what felt like a brief set, we were quickly lifted up with Wild Peace‘s dazzling 1-2 punch of “Further Down” and “Another Day” and brought back down again a few songs later with “In Dreams”, reworked with an extended Krautrock groove and dedicated to drummer Pete. Short and sweet, but from here, the only way is up.

Further Down
Another Day
Wild Peace
Buried at Sea
Even the Blind
Last Song of the Year
In Dreams