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album: Lake Gaze - Lazy Trail

album: Lake Gaze - Lazy Trail

words: Chey Bilderback

Synth lines shimmer like music box lullabies in Lake Gaze, the first solo collection from Emma Willer (of Slumbers and Boyscott), released under the moniker of Lazy Trail. However, the trail Emma leads listeners down is not lazy, nor is it even aimless. Nomadic, perhaps.

Emma’s words fit naturally inside her bedroom-shoegaze songs, which lead us from the cheeky and charming to the interior and universal. She sings softly and seriously about fruit flies and pizza shirts (“Fruit Fly,” “Pizza Shirt”), just as deliberately as she sings about digging through a year of self-doubt (“More to Come”).  

Her voice is distinct, sometimes rising above the wall of sound and sometimes dancing alongside lo-fi electric guitar. On “Help Me Thru,” Emma folds big questions into hummable melodies: “How do you ask someone for their wisdom?” On “Maine,” she dives into storytelling. “Lets move to Maine and make music day by day,” she sings convincingly. “Let’s go on the road once more/ I need some space, I need to get out.”

However, it’s the final track, with a nondescript title of “Interlude,” that proves the most vivid. In only 40 seconds, Emma proves the power of one good line: “At least I know that there’ll be stars above the lake when I’m gone.”  The album ends, and suddenly, all you have left is that one last image. A still lake, a quiet night, and a sky full of stars.

photos: Beirut at Paramount Theatre

photos: Beirut at Paramount Theatre

album: Crushing - Julia Jacklin

album: Crushing - Julia Jacklin