Funeral Lakes are a Canadian folk-rock duo with hearts fit to burst. Sam Mishos and Chris Hemer started the band in the spring of 2018, self-producing music in their apartment in Vancouver and now in Toronto. They deal in politically and socially charged lyrics set against the most dynamic of instrumentation. Their eponymous debut album was released to widespread acclaim in 2019 and now Funeral Lakes return with the Golden Season EP.
The EP kicks off with ‘Eternal Return’, a song which rails against the misery inflicted by the lies of our politicians. This is a builder and I really like how this song takes its time to get going. You really feel like you are being taken along for the journey. By the time the closing section erupts you are feeling as justifiably angry and righteous as the group. I defy anyone not to fall in love with Funeral Lakes on the basis of this song alone.
‘Earth Falls’ is next up. A song with so much heart and yet so much restrained sadness at the inevitably of the destruction of our environment. “Earth falls and then begins again. Our home is all we ever had” just speaks volumes to me. I love the interplay between Chris and Sam on the vocals here. Some really nice call and response stuff in the verses. The false start to the chorus is a neat twist too.
The closing track is entitled ‘Power Trip’ and features Sam on lead vocals over a really scuzzy fuzzed out guitar riff. Tackling the subject of the white hetero-patriarchy which dominates our society it careens at breakneck speed. Sounding quite different to the other two tracks, I’m not sure if this a detour for the band or them setting out down a new musical path. Either way, we win.
There is no doubt that Funeral Lakes will be getting Arcade Fire thrown at them by lazy reviewers as a point of reference but not here. I can hear the creativity of Talking Heads, the restrained ennui of Sparklehorse even the madcap irreverence of The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band.