if you’ve been following JOVM for a bit you may remember that back in the end of March I wrote about the Boste, Sweden-based duo of Blind Lake. Comprised of Lotta Wenglén (guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, vocals) and Måns Wieslander (guitar, drums, bass, vocals), the duo derives their name from Blind Lake, a sci-fi novel written by Robert Charles Wilson, based in a small Minnesota town, where thanks to alien technology, scientists are able to follow the everyday lives of aliens on a distant planet. Related (at least somewhat) to the source that the duo derives their name, the duo have largely been influenced by the paranormal; in fact, the material on the duo’s soon-to-be released full length On Earth largely concerns itself thematically with the absolutely normal daily life events, which remain inexplicable and utterly strange.
Interestingly, both Wenglén and Wieslander are accomplished musicians in their own right Wenglén has an acclaimed solo career – her fourth solo album earned best of year accolades in her native Sweden, and she’s collaborated with Chip Taylor, and Nina Persson of The Cardigans. Additionally, Wenglén has toured with Whiskeytown and The Cave Singers with her previous projects – ba-ba-loo and The Lotta Wenglén Band. Wenglén’s collaborator in Blind Lake, Mans Wieslander has had a stint with an Australian punk band The Saints, and with his own band Elevator Adam, he’s toured with The Posies and Hoodoo Gurus.
Album single “Walk Beside Me” was an interesting track as it began with eerie atmospherics and Weislander and Wenglén’s plaintive harmonies before turning into a shimmering dance pop song, complete with a sinus bass line, chiming percussion, cascading synths and strings. And although it was danceable, the song is actually about something much more profound and deeper – the inevitable anger, grief and angst that comes when someone has lost a loved one way too soon, while emphasizing that no only will life push you forward, that even in dark times, there’s always light somewhere. “Lately,” the album’s latest single is a breezy folk pop song based around gently strummed guitar, subtle yet propulsive percussion, the slightly detached harmonies of Weislander and Wenglén, and a strangely anachronistic yet fitting guitar and synth solo.
As the duo explains in press notes, the song is about the various changes in one’s life after a divorce. and the song conveys a sense of loss and confusion – the realization that familiar and comfortable routines that develop in a relationship are suddenly over; that a long-term present is now part of a past that you may not completely understand at that moment. And once you’ve gotten through the prerequisite mourning, you have to accept things as they are; but once you do that, life manages to push you forward. You start off slowly but you move on – sometimes with eyes closed. It feels as though it can arguably be one of the most personal, most autobiographical song and intimate song they’ve released to date.