Capturing our attention with the very first line we heard, "Yea the sky, was filled with smoke", from their recent single "Forest Burns", Funeral Lakes immediately had us wanting to know more about this indie- folk/rock duo. Self-described as "apocalypse folk rock", Chris and Sam, both Canadian, are using their voices as a form of protest for the millennial age. Their music is inspired by their personal experiences of living in the anthropocene, where even in the safety of your bed, scrolling through your newsfeed can send you teetering between hysterics of laughter and misery — making it hard to feel okay about what's ahead. They have a distinctly modern indie-folk sound with a hint of rock, maybe spurred by the emotional, yet subtle, protesting of their lyrical content. The duo of Funeral Lakes were kind enough to sit down with us and introduce us to their music, their world, and everything in between. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to hear more about their music, their process, inspirations, and so much more. Read below to see what they had to say!
First off, what inspired the name Funeral Lakes?
We wanted a name that contrasts the beauty of nature with the sombre reality of its ongoing destruction. The emotions wrapped up in that sentiment underscore much of the music we make. It’s our way of eulogizing nature, but it’s also a call to awareness.
Your debut album is releasing soon, what do you hope it represents to fans and how do you hope it establishes you as a duo?
Content-wise, we hope the words resonate with people who are feeling some of the same emotions we are — fear, anxiety, frustration, distrust. It can be incredibly difficult grappling with the reality of the world we’re living in. Music has offered healing in our personal lives, and that’s what we set out to do with this music. We want to help create a sense of community and hopefully bring about some change, whether that be raising money for causes we believe in, or simply singing our truth.
What's your favorite song from the album? Why?
"Anthropocene Dream", which was the first single we released. It represents our sound really well by pairing melancholic vocals and lyrics with jangly guitars and a high energy rhythm. We tried to encapsulate millennial malaise in a shout-out-loud style anthem with a chorus that we hope people can sing along to.
"What's your favorite lyrical line from the album?"
There’s a line from our song "Culture Bomb" that goes, “And the waves came sweeping in, soaking up that coast. People laughed, actuaries groaned.”
Take us through the creation process behind the album.... How did the album take shape?
We sort of wanted to prove something to ourselves but also to have creative freedom with this project, so we set out learning the recording/production process. This meant watching lots of youtube tutorials and reading online forums, which were so accessible and that was really empowering. We produced the album in our apartment, playing all the instruments ourselves. Once the mountain of overdubbing was finished and we were happy with what we got down, our talented friend Colin Spratt (Plastic Soul Studios) mixed and mastered the tracks.
What inspired the creation of this album? Is there a theme throughout the album?
We draw inspiration from our personal experiences, in politics and otherwise, and our feelings about living in this world and reading the news every day. It’s certainly political in nature, with lots of reflection on the climate crisis through various lenses. It’s also about mental health and struggling to reconcile personal convictions with commitments made, shouting truth into a void, crying alone in the shower…all that kind of stuff!
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
We call it apocalypse folk rock. Sonically, our music blends a lot of the genres we like — folk, punk, shoegaze, dream pop. Lyrically, we try to tackle topics that we care about, but also take time to reflect on our own place within the narrative. We’re inspired by dynamic genre-defying groups like Typhoon and Saintseneca. Our sound has been compared to Arcade Fire, Slowdive, and Mazzy Star.
What can fans expect next?
We’re excited to be sharing a lot of new music. We have our 2nd album demoed and ready to record, so we hope to release it sometime in the new year. For now, our focus has turned mostly to performing our first release live.
Funeral Lakes will be releasing a self-titled album on December 1, 2019. Follow along the links below to find out more!
(Photo credits: Katerina Zoumboulakis)