With some ideas recorded on his laptop, songwriter and producer Wayne Hood went backpacking through Europe. After meeting vocalist Joanna Cisowska in Warsaw he decided to settle, and thus Mountain Lakes was born. The duo’s early recordings combine sophisticated electronic pop and indie, with worldly lyrics and a distinctive European accent.
‘Eyesore’ is a suitably laid-back introduction to this set of recordings. The vocal performance and production on this track are excellent, with Joanna’s haunting voice echoing over a mix of electronic sounds and live instrumentation. This song bears a resemblance to early Massive Attack, with vocals similar to Beth Gibbons of Portishead.
The vocal melody on ‘Terminus’ coupled with the subtle electronic drum sound make for a very catchy verse, with Joanna’s accent lending a sense of the exotic to the chorus. This track calls to mind Swedish act The Knife, while maintaining a specific sound Mountain Lakes have carved out.
Closing track ‘Penrose Stairs’ was the highlight for me. From the bass-line in the intro it’s clear that this is the most melodic and catchy song on display here. The addition of vocals and keys, and later the band’s signature guitar sound solidify the track as instantly likeable, and one I feel I will be compelled to revisit.
Mountain Lakes have a very classy and understated sound, luring the listener in with subtle and slow grooves and unconventional vocals. They appear to have a diverse range of influences and from these have created a sound entirely their own. These recordings would provide the perfect soundtrack to winding down at the end of a party that’s stretched into daylight hours, and this seems to be a craft this pair has mastered.