Make your Monday sweeter by discovering some new music, personally picked by me! Here at ISWAI we love nothing more than a fresh new track, so up this Monday is Arctic Lake - For Us. Arctic Lake are a North London three piece, made up of Emma, Andy and Paul, who formed while at university. Their combination of electronica and chilled out tones means that they have something for everyone, especially with Emma's gorgeously haunting vocals!
After debuting this single on BBC Radio 1's Huw Stephen's Show, included as part of BBC Introducing and being featured on Spotify, Arctic Lake are being tipped for the big time - so we check out their track and read what the band had to say in our exclusive Q&A interview!
Tell us a bit about yourselves…
We’re an ambient/electronic trio currently living in the outskirts of London. We’ve released three singles over the past year and have been completely overwhelmed with the response we’ve they’ve had from them. We’ve just put out our final single of the year, ‘For Us’, and have spent the past few months writing and exploring new ideas for the music we’re currently making.
How did the band form?
(Paul) We all met at the University and found that our playing really complimented each other. Andy and I had already played on tour with each other so knew each other well, and Emma’s vocal worked so perfectly with the sound we all wanted to create.
How would you describe your sound?
(Emma) People have described it as ambient and beautiful, and I think they are two words we’ll always aim for and would love to call them our 'sound', but truthfully we're still at the beginning and experimenting with the sound is something we're always doing. That being said I think we all naturally gravitate to atmospheric, 'chilled out' music when it comes to song-writing, so the songs you've heard so far will probably still resonate in defining our sound in the coming years I would imagine and hope.
Who are your musical influences?
(Andy) When writing we’re more influenced by what each other is playing, rather than what we’ve been listening to recently. Saying that, we each listen to a lot of varying music – Paul and I are particularly into upcoming acts like Jack Garratt & The Japanese House at the moment, but we also listen to a lot of music from the past decades. I’ve always had a love for Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground, & Paul Simon, and I know Emma really admires singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole & Ray Charles.
How does it feel having DJ’s such as Huw Stephens get behind your music?
(Andy) 'Well... it feels pretty f*****g surreal!'
(laughs) Hearing DJs you've listened to for so long play your music, it's amazing.
Is there a song you are proudest of?
(Emma) I think our proudest has to be ‘Limits’... for now. It's the one that we released first and the one that carried the band to more exciting opportunities. I think there’s something special about the first one you put out there, it feels like the baby and it's an emotional song for me. I would like to think that some of our unreleased music however will become our proudest.
Current highlight of your career so far?
(Emma) The highlight for me is probably being on the Radio 1 playlist a few months ago. It was pretty crazy to be on there with huge artists and featured on shows like Fearne Cotton and Greg James, as well as all the kind words we received from people who had discovered our music by hearing it there.
Best gig you’ve played?
(Emma) The best gig we’ve ever played has to be the show we played last month at St. Pancras Old Church. The atmosphere and acoustics fit so well with what we were trying to achieve musically and the echoes and natural reverb gave our songs this real ethereal tone. I’d love to play in more unusual venues so we can really experiment with new sounds and spaces – It was an unforgettable night.
And finally, what exciting things do you have coming up in the pipeline?
(Emma) At we moment we have a lot of unreleased material so there’s endless possibilities of what we could do next. We’re going through all the songs we’ve written so far and picking our favourites – there will undoubtedly be a few new releases in the following year.
Find out more about Arctic Lake here: