The Rapidian

Chain of Lakes releases new EP "Kind of Quiet"

Scott Warren reviews Chain of Lakes' newest EP, Kind of Quiet
EP "Kind of Quiet" by Chain of Lakes

EP "Kind of Quiet" by Chain of Lakes /cover photo by Rich Button

Underwriting support from:

Grand Rapids area musician Kyle Rasche writes and performs original music under the name Chain of Lakes. The six tracks on Chain of Lakes’ newest release Kind of Quiet is available for pre-order (the EP debuts on August 28th, 2011) on bandcamp.com.

The EP was recorded in Grand Rapids, MI by Justin VanHaven (JVH Audio) and was mastered by Matt Ten Clay (Skull Studios).

The overall sound of Kind of Quiet is earthy and honest, and it definitely carries that certain essence, that definitive sound that is unmistakably a homegrown vibe. Occupying a place all its own somewhere between county, folk, and coffee house rock, the music of Chain of Lakes shares a unifying sensibility similar to the work coming out of several of the rising stars on our West Michigan scene right now. Kyle Rasche has successfully captured that feeling, internalized it, distilled it down to its essential elements, and incorporated it into his own unique vision.

While the overall mood of Kind of Quiet is more reflective than it is aggressive, there is just enough unruly guitar work to keep it form being too mellow. Splashy cymbals and some well-placed delay effects on guitar inject just enough psychedelia in the mix to keep things from being too straight-laced.

Track #3, Kind of Quiet , is definitely the highlight of the EP. Comparisons to material from Iron & Wine’s “Our Endless Numbered Days” or “The Creek Drank the Cradle” are rightfully earned by the breathy and relaxed vocals, the scratchiness of fingers on guitar strings, the way the chords are plucked, and the harmonizing of background vocals.

Layering of the electric guitar over some well-placed (what I think is ) vibraphone playing helps to create an interesting crescendo as the song progresses to its fitting conclusion.

Track #6, Ourselves, with its lo-fi handclaps and jangly treble guitar chording slowly climaxes into an impressive tremolo-soaked overload of sleepy organ swells that can only be done justice by being played loudly. Forget the neighbors, turn it up.

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Disclosure: As the author of this review, I was provided the 6 tracks on this album (free & unsolicited) via email by Kyle Rasche/Chain of Lakes

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