There is a simple fluidity to Arctic Lake. The London-based three piece have been washing up on our musical shores since mid 2013, and with every new track released into the wider world they encroach a little bit more into our playlists. The latest single, For Us, is a delicately impassioned song, and I went down to the launch gig at St Pancras Old Church on October 7th to have a listen.
From the outset it is clear that the choice of venue does nothing but work in their favour. The airy hall of the church was the perfect setting for front-woman Emma Foster’s haunting vocals, with the stained glass windows an idyllic background. The songs dissolve into each other, punctuated only by the raucous applause of the otherwise quietly bubbling crowd that filled the room to capacity. Looking back it is odd that silence became the defining feature of an evening focused around a band that started life as a rock outfit, but at the time it seemed the most natural thing in the world. The few chatterers at the back were quickly chided back into quiet by the avid listeners surrounding them, the whole audience on tenterhooks, waiting to see what they would pull out next.
Each delicate stroke of Foster’s vocals resonated with even the most reluctantly emotional members of the audience, each click of the drums in complete synchrony with the subtle whirr of guitar or occasionally intense piano. Despite the intermittent snap of a can of Stella being opened underneath the organ, it was hard to help feeling like a grown-up in the presence of such mature musicians. Elegance was the overwhelming theme of the night, and I for one can’t wait to see what’s coming next for this fantastic gem of a band.
Arctic Lake played: