Lakes – “Chant from Above-Live in Melbourne” Album Review

Chant from Above-Live in Melbourne

Today we are going to go back to 2015 for a release by Australian neofolk act Lakes.  Why?  Because this act, quite honestly is the best neofolk act I have heard since Death in June’s Rose Clouds of Holocaust.  Yes, they are that good; “they” being headed by one Sean Bailey.

I have long since been a fan of live albums, for the most part.  But there is something special about this album that lies in the purity of the sound; the treated acoustic guitar, Mr. Bailey’s passionate powerful vocals and the background percussion.  This album is proof that often the most simple is the most beautiful.

Nevertheless, to simply peg Lakes as a neo-folk act is perhaps a tad bit inaccurate.  There is a definite but yet a somewhat hard to pin-point 80s feel to Lakes.  In an odd sort of way, some of Lakes’s work is reminiscent of the very early Adam and the Ants demos; prior to the Friend or Foe-era tribal drumming, the costumes and all the rest.

Lakes’s history begins in 2005 with the self-titled debut album.  A number of subsequent singles and albums have followed, the most recent being Chant from Above and Arms in Twilight released on Swedish label, Belaten.  Chant from Above contains ten tracks that range from slow and reflective to the fast strumming and powerful “The Oldest Place.”

As noted above, the music on this release is relatively simple in structure but some of the more powerful, passionate neofolk you may ever hear.  As such, Chant from Above needs only a simple review to get the point across.  So there you have it.  If you are a fan of neofolk, find Lakes to be the wonderful treat as I found it to be.

Chant from Above is still available as a digital download via Belaten’s bandcamp site linked below.

The following is a video from Youtube.  However, it should be noted, this particular track is not from the Chant from Above album.  I’m merely posting it so you’ll get an idea of Lakes’s sound as there were no videos from the Chant from Above album.

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