Coming off of the critically praised The Constance LP, Lakes have returned with another full length album called Start Again. For those unfamiliar with the UK-based indie rockers, they are comprised of lead vocalist/guitarist Roberto Cappellina, vocalist/keyboardist/percussionist Blue Jenkins, drums/percussionist/guitarist Matt Shaw, bassist Charlie Smith, guitarist Rob Vacher and guitarist Gareth Arthur. Start Again was produced/mixed by Neil Strauch (Joan of Arc, Owls) and is a detailed exploration of topical themes like dealing with our mental health, the struggles with addiction, and making the tough decisions of getting rid of toxic friendships. Lakes are in the same realm of emo/indie bands like American Football, Stove, and Barely Civil. Your latest music obsession has arrived.
The true magic of Lakes on Start Again occurs when they are able to hone in on the intricacies on what the instruments are doing in sync with Cappellina’s lyrics and vocal presence. For example, on the title track, Lakes are able to package everything that do well on this album into a majestic sounding first single. Cappellina described the song in a recent interview that, ”During lockdown last year my mental health was really suffering, and as a result, I had been self-medicating pretty hard. There’s a collective suffering right now which makes it harder to relate to an individual’s story, but this was my outlet.” Cappellina’s relatable struggle is endearing as it is heartbreaking as this album unfolds.
Other standouts like the guitar-pop bliss of “No Excuses” and the reflective introspection of “Mirrors,” speak to the beauty behind Lakes’ ability to convey such raw emotion through great sounding indie rock songs. By the time you make your way through the punching closing duo of “Retrograde” and “Animals,” you should have a better understanding of the struggles Cappellina went through in making this record with his bandmates, and yet his persistence to continue his fight with his demons only speaks to the type of person he is. Lakes have used Start Again as their mantra and rallying cry for looking towards better days ahead.