RIP Pete Hayes
What Echo Lake need right now is not a review, debut album release hype, or any other music press related bullshit, because just a few days before the release of the band’s first outing, their drummer Pete Hayes passed away, at the age of 25. A sad day for the band, as well as fans of good music. In slightly less than six months, indie has lost two outstanding young musicians with the untimely deaths of Hayes and Women guitarist Christopher Reimer in February, making for a difficult and sad 2012.
So it winds up being more or less meaningless to critique what is really a quite good album. Sure, it would be no stretch to say that the album has some truly beautiful, emotive dream pop, the kind of music a listener who counts themselves fans of Slumberland Records (handling the American release of Wild Peace, a truly fitting album title if there ever was one) or Cocteau Twins will find themselves easing into nicely. But it’s also a little perfunctory, given what the surviving bandmembers are undoubtedly feeling today. Without delving too deeply into the words, song titles or moods of the album, there is a certain amount of wistfulness and solemnity at play on Wild Peace, and maybe never more so here than on “Last Song of the Year”, a tune whose title takes on a sadder level of meaning, in addition to being one of record’s highlights. A strong recommendation here.
Purchase: Echo Lake – Wild Peace