Album Review //Swan Songs by Lakefield

By Kevin Tshiamala

Throughout the career of Vancouver based indie pop, rock band Lakefield, it has been compared to the likes of Death Cab For Cutie and Stars. Depending on who is listening that could be a turn off or at best a half chub, but never a raging bull. Nevertheless, Lakefield has battled the industry and managed to build a resume inclusive of a five year career, one album, a few live performances and a loyal following. As a result, I must preface the remaining review by firmly saying regardless of what is said, I have the utmost respect for anyone who is an artist.

On Valentine’s Day, February 14th, Lakefield will be releasing its final farewell, Swan Songs. The foundation of the EP was laid down in London by drummer Paul Teehan. While the rhythms were transformed into songs by Kate Rossiter (Keys, Vocals), Steven Luscher (Guitar, Vocals), Kyle Sulyma (Bass), and Bryan Chiu (Guitar) in their hometown of Vancouver. Swan Songs consists of five songs with an interlude totaling around twenty five minutes. A rather short farewell, but fitting for their history.

The lead single and opener, “Good Guy,” is a bleak, mellow song where Kate’s vocals are given the spotlight. “Hand Delivered” is a nice minimal upbeat track led by a nice piano melody and two part harmony with a bit of an edgier side. The band put their efforts towards the pop piano sounds with vast crescendos in upper octaves as exemplified in “Cupid.” The song is reminiscent to sounds of bands like The Postal Service, but where they found success, Lakefield simply lingers. The best song on the album is the “Interlude.” It’s a forty four second, quirky, cute, happy, and pop, love song with a beautiful melody, vocals and lyrics by Kate Rossiter. It would have been perfect to make it the last song on the album similar to The Beatles song “Her Majesty.”

It is rather difficult not to make the connection between the title of Lakefield’s album, the context of the situation, and the mythology behind the mute swan – Lakefield’s one last beautiful performance – Unfortunately, the farewell is rather opposite. None of the songs on the album, besides “Interlude” are particularly enchanting despite the known talent possessed by these musicians. Swan Songs sounds exactly like their journey went; a last gasp after a long losing battle. Five complicated friends and talented musicians who tried hard to make it work because it should have, but wound up wallowing in mediocrity.

For fans, Swan Songs is a fitting farewell. For most of us who just tuned in, it is the end to something that never began. “Your Conviction is Sweet” closes out the album. For Lakefield, as the lyrics state, you were “So close to landing in the place where you belong.” Thank you for your time and keep on keepin’ on.

Lakefield’s Album Swan Songs is set to release on February 14th, 2014.

For more information please visit Lakefield’s official website: https://lakefieldmusic.com/