Lakes - Sam Teskey - NOGA

Lakes - Retrograde.

Watford based six-piece ensemble Lakes have just shared the moving new single Retrograde, taken from their forthcoming new record ‘Start Again’. The band recently announced their signing to Big Scary Monsters for the new album, out 30th July.

Talking about the new single, co-lead vocalist Blue Jenkins said "Retrograde is inspired by a particular experience of trying and failing pretty spectacularly to navigate an avoidant attachment, despite impassioned arguments for the cause on both sides. It's about how confusing and frustrating it can feel to try and work together with somebody only to keep coming up against the same problems, and how sad it still is when you finally have to let it all go."

After a handful of self-releases and a stint of heavy touring with the likes of Nervus and Orchards, the pandemic forced Lakes to slow down, having been catapulted a long way in a short space of time through consistent hard work and sheer tenacity. The six individuals that make up Lakes took the opportunity to formulate new ideas ready for their newest offering, and fired by a strong ‘do it yourself’ ethic, they collaborated remotely on bringing each other’s stories to life. The resulting album, mixed by Neil Strauch (Owen, Owls, Joan Of Arc, Anathallo, Slow Mass etc), captures themes of healing, hope and relief.

“This batch of songs has been a vehicle for healing for all six of us in some way, so there are a lot of different but raw themes throughout the record. Even though we’re currently all isolated from each other, the one person you can’t escape is yourself,” says co-lead vocalist Roberto Cappellina. “We talk about anything from mental health to addiction; from break ups to cutting out toxic friends, to postpartum psychosis. We’ve been to some dark places between us, but ultimately, ‘Start Again’ is about coming out the other side. This record is about facing that darkness, owning it and letting go of the past. It’s about being at peace with it and moving forward and saying that it’s actually OK to start again.”


Sam Teskey - Love.

Inspired by the cycles of life, Sam Teskey, guitarist of critically-acclaimed, blues-soul band The Teskey Brothers, announces his debut solo album, Cycles, a collection of music influenced by the great English psychedelic bands of the late ’60s & ’70s, out on Decca Records on Friday 8th October. The first track on the album Love, out today, is a stirring, pastoral folk song that establishes the album’s own life cycle, ending with the reprise Then Love Returns.

Born out of lockdown in early 2020, with touring at a stand-still, Teskey relished in the opportunity to return to his vast back catalogue of incomplete musical musings he’d amassed whilst writing for The Teskey Brothers over the years. Painstakingly digging through old demos, spending time with the development of the songs, keen to make a record that would be enjoyed as a complete body of work. Starting where most finish, he settled on the track-listing before recording a note, thoughtfully building on the original ideas, with each track evolving to seamlessly melt together with the next.

On his debut album, Teskey says: “When on the road touring, I spend most of my time writing songs, so I have a massive collection of songs and ideas ready to go. Once I figured out that they all work together like that, it happened really organically. I love listening to albums that have progression and take you on a journey. A big point of this album is for people to create their own journey and their own story. I can say many things about the record, but I want to leave the experience up to the listener. It feels nice to put the creativity back in the listeners’ hands.”

Cycles offers a thrilling and immersive journey; the seven tracks ebb and flow like a stream of consciousness, shying away from traditional song structures and negotiating a range of genres from orchestral balladry, dissonant and ambient soundscape, all the way through to folk and heavy psych-rock. Determined to capture the music in its purest form, Teskey, enlisting the help of musician friends, live recorded the album almost exclusively live to tape at his analogue home studio in Warrandyte.


Photo - Sarah Fosco
NOGA - Any Kind Of Dream.

After years of touring the world on bass with Cass McCombs, Renata Zeiguer, and many others, NOGA (aka Noga Shefi) has regrouped to bring listeners The Alchemist -- a short collection of new songs out July 30. Inspired in part by Paulo Coelho's classic mysticist novel of the same name, The Alchemist follows NOGA's experience of untangling life's great dualities: dreams and reality, light and dark, known and unknown, self and other.

Today NOGA has shared the second single from the EP, "Any Kind of Dream" -- a tender, colorful, shimmering song about letting go of something that is no longer serving you in order to create space and allow new ideas. Of the song, NOGA says, "When there is new space after letting go of something heavy and old, there is so much lightness and space to dream of a new vision."

Written during a quiet period of time off in Israel, NOGA recorded the EP back in NYC at the Relic Room, with Scott Colberg on bass and guitar, Jason Nazary on Drums, and Frank LoCrasto on piano and synths. The EP was mixed and mastered by Greg Saunier.

In the novel The Alchemist, the protagonist is made to take on a great quest spanning years and continents. It is not just about chasing dreams, but about the refinement of the alchemist's skill and ability to turn something worthless into gold. On "The Alchemist," the EP's titular, opening track, NOGA grounds her anxieties by reminding herself that the heart and mind is responsible for how one experiences reality. Just as the alchemist can turn cheap metal into gold, NOGA's songs are inspired by the magic of turning unfortunate situations into wisdom and love.

The Alchemist follows NOGA's Mutual Heart Vibes EP (mixed and mastered in collaboration with Ryan Power) and her debut album Calla Lily, which she describes as "songwriting as a way of controlled demolition."