Lawndry has done an excellent job of surprisingly sneaking up with an excellent new album. Over the course of the past three years they’ve released an EP, fun Oasis and Yoko inspired tracks as well as odes to the Nashville Airport Smoker’s Lounge and their favorite artists. What may have slipped past you in that duration is that the band was focusing in on their delivery, eschewing the garage rock tendencies for the layered, dreamy, pop of Lake Life.
The Banana Tapes release is available on cassette (naturally) and as one single, long playing, digital track. While it’s a bit frustrating in these modern times to not be able to jump to your favorite track or sample an album by skipping around through titles, it’s exactly that restriction that forces you to sit and experience the entire album. And that’s for the best in this case as Lake Life has an aural continuity from start to finish, complete with a production style that feels literal to the album title – recorded in a quiet space near the lake. The album starts with the sounds of a boat and some creaking and hustling before giving way to twenty minutes of perfectly layered organic and synthetic instrumentation.
The tape hiss at the start of the record and the segues of tinkering instruments implies an album more ramshackle and spur of the moment than a detailed listen reveals. The production feels intentional, meant to put you in a specific head space, rather than a disposable veneer of style. The vocals and melodies are forelorn and introspective but injected with a feeling of optimism. WOTT has been accused of being overly esoteric and earnest in its reviews but when the shoe fits, wear it.
Lake Life is a wonderful piece of work and a pleasant surprise from a band that’s been underestimated until this moment.