PREMIERE: LAKE Stay Soft for “Over Under” Video

Pastel tones out of Olympia.

As LAKE, Ashley Eriksson and Elijah Moore make pastel-soft music in warm tones. It’s nearly period music—think opaque tupperware, opaque tupperware, H.R. Pufnstuf—but also the cosmic exotica of Stereolab, the earnest nostalgia of Sufjan Stevens circa Illinois, and the bleary nostalgia of Mild High Club.

It’s not the kind of thing you’d expect to hear coming out of the hardscrabble DIY world of Olympia, WA, which the wife-and-husband duo have called home since 2005, but true to their roots, they use their blunt tones to intellectual—and occasionally weaponized—ends that are seemingly at odds with the sounds themselves. On Forever or Never, which dropped in April via the German label Tapete, Eriksson and Moore meditate on the price of victory, loss, and the constrictions of religion.

But on “Over Under,” whose video we’re premiering today, beds of keyboards and distant lakes of gently wah-ing guitars make up a breezy landscape, where Eriksson and Moore skip words like stones: “Sideways, backwards / Forward, under,” “Outdoor jacket / Tennis racket.” The vocals were added at the suggestion of Sean Schuster-Craig (better known as Jib Kidder, himself no stranger to slightly warped soft rock), who worked on the cut, along with saxophonist Karl Blau. It’s a balmy cut that wears its signifiers in earnest; there is no feint toward the narcotic, no underlying hint of malice or darkness—only meticulously constructed and recorded pop.

The video was created by Moore on an old Magnisight magnifier. Taking a cue from Harry Smith, he zooms in and out on a series of construction-paper cutouts, with a sprinting, soft-cornered star his guide. Check it out below.

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