LAKE are one of several brainy and sweet indie pop bands -- such as No Kids (Vancouver, British Columbia) and the Blow (Portland, Oregon) -- to call the Pacific Northwest their home. The group formed in Olympia, Washington in 2005 and comprises an ever-shifting cast of bandmembers, with Ashley Eriksson, Eli Moore, Lindsay Schief, Andrew Dorsett, and Markly Morrison serving as the band's foundation. In the first few years of its existence, the band released a split 7" with Typhoon (LAKE/Typhoon, via Boy Gorilla Records), a cassette tape (via Brown Interior Music), a vinyl LP (Tape, via Funkytonk Records), and a self-titled full-length album; that last release was recorded by Karl Blau and released as part of his Kelp Lunacy project. LAKE's second full-length album, Oh, the Places We'll Go, was released on K Records in the fall of 2008, followed by the somewhat more experimental Let's Build a Roof in 2009. A track from the album, "Christmas Island," was featured in redone form as the end credit music on the Cartoon Network show Adventure Time.
The band's next album, 2011's Giving & Receiving, was partially written in an isolated cabin in northern Sweden and recorded with Calvin Johnson and Karl Blau at Dub Narcotic Studios in Olympia. The sessions initially proved difficult, as the analog tape they were using began to fall apart. The project was shifted to a computer and LAKE proved a quick study at digital recording, in the process delivering their warmest and best album to date. Afterwards, various bandmembers splintered off for solo projects, notably Ashley Eriksson's solo album Colours, which was released at the beginning of 2013. That same year, the band regrouped for 2013's The World Is Real, which was the last record to feature founding member Lindsay Schief. Their creative juices flowing, LAKE hit the studio with old friend Karl Blau and ended up with their second album of the year, Circular Doorway. The producers of Adventure Time found the album's "No Wonder I" to their liking and used it in an episode.
LAKE took their time with their next album, 2017's Forever or Never. It was recorded by engineer Nicholas Wilbur at his The Unknown studio, which he runs with Phil Elverum, who contributed guitar to the record. Also helping out were Karl Blau on saxophone, the late Geneviève Castrée on backing vocals, and LAKE's "fifth member," Paul Benson, who played on every song. It was released by their new label, the Germany-based Tapete Records, in early 2017. ~ Margaret Reges