Hear This Now: EL LAGO Releases Their Debut Full-Length Tonight, Plus a Video

It’s been a few years, I know, but it felt like high time to get back to the sporadic Hear This Now thing we were doing for a little while there, pointing/listening to cool H-town bands we’ve been listening to lately…

Not all of the bands we’ll be talking about are strictly new bands, mind you, but they’re new to us — and seeing as yours truly has been listening to not a lot much beyond audiobooks lately (Scottish crime author Ian Rankin‘s audiobooks are freaking amazing, by the by, as are the recent set of Michael Connolly audiobooks with Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch), there’s some serious catching-up needed here.

We’re going to kick things off with awesome, all-caps Galvestonians EL LAGO, who are releasing their first-ever full-length, Colors, with a pair of album-release shows.

The first one is tonight, Saturday, November 4th, up at the resurrected Rockefellers, where they’re playing alongside VODI (who are also releasing a new album) & Astragal, and the second is next Friday, November 10th, down at the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe in EL LAGO’s hometown, again with VODI and also including the excellent Tee Vee.

I haven’t had a chance to hear all of Colors yet, sadly, but I have been listening pretty heavily to the first two singles the band’s released, “The Clearing” and eponymous track “Colors”. The former starts off quiet and spooky, with vocalist Lauren Eddy making me think of Kim Gordon on Sonic Youth’s “Shadow of a Doubt,” but then shifts into sweet, delicately woozy indie-pop.

No disrespect intended towards the rest of the band, but Eddy’s the clear highlight of EL LAGO’s music, at least for me. She’s got a voice that’s strong when necessary and fragile when that works better, wavering and warbling in a way that’s never forced and always gorgeous. I find myself thinking of Imogen Heap at points and Kate Bush at others, and neither is a comparison I’d make lightly.

Music-wise, I’m pulled backwards to the halcyon exquisite-pop days of Elefant and Shinkansen Records, particularly the glacial heartbreak of Trembling Blue Stars, and the fuzzier-edged, sadly-defunct Secret Stars. There’s beauty there, no doubt, but also a deep, deep melancholy, too.

On “Colors,” things shift gears a bit, with EL LAGO heading deep, deep into My Bloody Valentine territory, complete with rumbling background washes of beautiful distortion, bent-just-out-of-shape guitars, uneasy sense of menace, and machine-gun-esque drums. Eddy floats serenely over the top, lending an angelic, ethereal tone to the proceedings but never quite masking the underlying sense of dread and foreboding.

It’s a great track, taking the MBV influence and making it something new and modern; I will freely admit that I am all about the shoegaze revival thing that’s been going on the past few years, and listening to EL LAGO, I feel it even more fervently. Check it out below:

Then there’s the recently-released video for “Colors,” which sees Eddy first roaming a broken-down urban landscape that appears to be going back to jungle, at least at the edges (which, yes, kind of describes Galveston in some ways), then wrapped up in variously-colored pieces of fabric, and then taking an axe to…something. I’m honestly not sure what. And then there’s a big albino python. It’s strange and murky, but it fits the song just about perfectly.

There you go; get on up to Rockefellers tonight to catch the real deal, and look out for Colors, out today on Miss Champagne Records. I’m looking forward to hearing the whole thing, myself…

(Photo & feature photo by Danny Garcia & Brandon Walker.)

Post by . This entry was posted on Saturday, November 4th, 2017. Filed under Features, Posts.

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