From the same band who brought us the superb EP ELEMENTALS, SPHERE marks a fresh direction for the story-telling and immersive, addictive musicality that is Lake Nights.
Designed to explore the story of Jeff, an astronaut based in the future, the project sees its protagonist reflect on a life of crime and reprogramming that ultimately blended shame and a sense of possibility as he turned over a new leaf.
Uniquely intriguing in concept but essentially relatable in a strangely human way, SPHERE takes listeners through a series of sci-fi-like ambiances, with synths raining down and whispered vocals calling out in poetic and delicate ways. The lyrics further the connection with the listener, this use of ‘you’ leans back and forth between absurdity and relatability, and all the while there’s a literal story at play – with scenes, details, changes and pages to witness.
Silverpool explores the opening events as detailed above, and delivers the melody with a bizarrely robotic tone from a clearly human voice – two contrasting elements that seem to work beautifully in representing this tale.
Hold Steady Babe follows and we’re told of how our hero meets a shy Arakinah in a bar. Here there’s an acoustic lightness and joy to proceedings, the music elevating itself for a truly uplifting listen and a soulful, expressive, country-style lead.
Then we get the robotic rhythm and intrigue of Elevator Heart, where Jeff’s new friend talks of her home planet. A light electro-pop vibe rises up to energise in subtly euphoric ways, with blissfully interesting, calming synths and layers for a strong sense of identity.
Black Silken Space is a personal favourite, the rain falls and space talk blends with intimacy for an anthem-like feel, vocally and melodically reminiscent of Elbow or the Eels. Then For Bright Zone we get a completion-focused mood and a touch of Bowie throughout a six-minute journey that lays down further insight.
Lake Nights proudly go where few other producers and artists dare to – the realms between genres, the creative worlds that require a level of fearlessness and a boldly open mind. Each track on SPHERE works as a colourful and intriguing hit of its own, but put them all together, and with each re-listen you start to visualise the stages of the story. This clever manner of writing allows each track to stand well alone, and offers a whole new world of escapism when the EP is listened to from start to finish.
Toying with a specific storyline but ultimately inclusive in reflecting deeply human qualities and concerns, SPHERE is a fascinating project – one that could have run the risk of alienating its listeners, had the concept not been so bizarrely relatable; and the music so brilliantly enjoyable.
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“Are our lives just meaningless preparation and shuffling around, only to be ended in an unpredictable exit? Does life only contain fleeting moments of “aliveness” only understood upon forced reflection?” – SPHERE.