Mirror Lake keeps things dark and stormy on The Last of the Summer Wine
The Last of the Summer Wine (The Storyboard Label)
Well, this is kind of a drag, isn’t it? Not only is summer over, but here’s a pensive collection of creeped-out psychedelia to remind us of that fact. The Last of the Summer Wine functions as a fittingly glum soundtrack for the months of rain ahead, so don’t be fooled for a second by the tropical scene depicted in the artwork. What this debut EP lacks in sonic sunshine, however, it makes up for in gorgeously eerie atmosphere.
The clouds descend the very second you hit Play, as the all-instrumental title track sets plunks of piano against a sparse backdrop of clattering drum fills and reverb-laden drones. “Echo Lake Mirror Lake” is no less chilly, as dissonant guitar licks and whirling organs lock into a folk-noir waltz, while singer Bryce Janssens tests the upper limits of his register with a spectral melody. These tracks are impeccably produced, with rich organic tones that feel inviting despite the bleakness of the material.
Even when Mirror Lake picks up the pace slightly, the toe-tapping tempos don’t do much to lighten the mood. “I’m on the Mile” is anchored by thundering drums, stabs of guitar, and menacing synth bass, and “You Can’t Win” evokes the stormy drama of local act Black Mountain.
These songs thrive on mood rather than melody, and even if they won’t do your seasonal affective disorder any favours, The Last of the Summer Wine reminds us that there’s nothing wrong with wallowing every now and again.