Alice Lake is a Wisconsin native transplanted, of course, to Brooklyn. “The Glass Lake” is her well of inspiration. As she puts it, “It’s the lens through which I live my dreams. It’s an escapist place of possibility and heartbreak. And it’s a sonic space to become lost and find truth.” Not surprisingly, then, the songs inhabiting Alice & The Glass Lake’s debut EP find Lake attempting to channel artistic purity by reaching deep inside herself. The result is a sonic spiderweb of shimmering, translucent lines that appear fragile but are strong enough to ensnare the listener.
One highlight is “Higher”, a soaring introduction with drums like a heartbeat and Lake’s voice blooming overhead. Her sound is gorgeous and full, managing to sound equally vulnerable and powerful, a trick mastered by obvious influence, Florence Welch. From “Higher”, the EP delves into “Tonight, Rest”, a gently drummed nursery rhyme that hits the ears like water flowing over stones. It’s a beautiful song that crescendos to a rousing finale, a full emotional and musical arc that fits into just over three minutes.
The Evolution EP is dream-world collage art, a series of colors, shapes, and textures meant to create a kaleidoscopic whole. This it does well—a softly chugging strum here, some intricate electronic orchestration there, and Lake’s soaring echo chamber vocals providing the soundtrack to her crystalline dream. It’s the kind of music that can easily fall flat, more whimper than bang if a balance isn’t struck between ambition and execution. Not every track is equally powerful, but most of the EP hits home, proving that there is plenty of inspiration to be found out at the glass lake.