Five for Friday #1: Chain of Lakes

Alright, I’m back again. Here’s this really amazing thing where I talk about music on the internet. Afterwards I’m going to eat food with my mouth, add money to my abysmal savings account with a deposit slip, and adhere to Druidism by praying to a tree. Unreal. Speaking of nature…

1. Chain of Lakes: In&In


Today’s first album comes from Michigan’s own Chain of Lakes. Named after several I guess alright lakes you may have heard about, Chain of Lakes is the musical brainchild of Kyle Rasche. Speaking of children, Kyle and his wonderful wife have three of them. For a lapsed Catholic, that’s just about the right amount of children.

But all religion and procreation aside, In&Out is the perfect album to welcome in the coming summer’s badly needed lush sunshine and positive vibes. Kyle and his musical colleagues have crafted an album that has all the beauty and detail you’d expect from this band, honed carefully with a craftsman’s touch. It offers a rich, nuanced musical experience that stands up incredibly well to repeated listens. Yet, there’s a pop sensibility here making each song immediately likable. Though Kyle Rasche has to his credit built a reputation for being picky about his songwriting and compositions, he’s built an equally strong reputation for self-deprecation. I have heard Kyle play demos for me that sounded damn near Grammy-winning, interrupted only by his commentary about how much he hated everything about what we were listening to. It’s a dynamic that, while possibly reflective of a need for weekly personal counseling for Kyle, is the most important factor of his particular musical modus operandi.  Kyle’s music has always existed inside a push and pull between ease and struggle. Joy and the complete lack of it. Confidence and crippling self-doubt that, taken together, sounds unsettling and lovely. It’s what keeps us interested, wanting more. It’s an odd balance that we ourselves live within every day and, as a result, is what makes these songs so human, so able to connect immediately with listeners.

Regardless of what Kyle thinks, this is the album of his that’s gonna be best received and will also hold up the best. An album this solid by an artist this talented deserves nothing less.

Favorite Track: The track “Blood & Alcohol” is almost like a musical yin & yang, with  music that smells like bubblegum and lyrics that smell like the breathe of a depressed drunk on his last, fatal bender.  It’s a hell of a song. His vocals have never sounded better, and his bandmates never sharper.

Trivia: Kyle was once the star of a show that aired on MTV. I used to feel bad about bringing this up. Now I don’t give a shit. Who wouldn’t want a show about them on frickin’ MTV?!?!?!? Ya’ll looking for a subject?

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