words by tom johnson
A photograph is a funny thing, a static image, often with no context but able to exude things; smells and sounds, palpable atmosphere, a sense of time and place, or perhaps no sense of time and place at all. The photograph that sits as the cover for the new split from Fog Lake and Euphoria Again is one such puzzle piece, a little key to what lies inside, something that could perhaps be sense before ever hearing a note of the music to be found within. Something to do with the hue, with the poise of the buildings, with the the clouds that wrap around the outer images. You can almost taste the listlessness, the quiet stench of isolation, of days lost to weather that slowly eats away at endeavour.
Such sentiments have always been rife in the work of both artists, and this new meeting place is as evocative as ever, perhaps more so, bring together four of new tracks from both Aaron Powell and Johnny Klein; the latter’s first work in more than three years, and as welcome a return as the new year is likely to offer.
To pick out single moments seems contrite, for this is undoubtedly one whole piece, eight songs to be taken as one, a journey that involves barely any movement but a journey all the same. “Hard to tell what’s real, with my head in the clouds,” Klein sings on ‘I’m Not Singing For You’, one of the punchier tracks here, and it’s a line that neatly surmises the whole split; an illusory, ambiguous step in to a world that feels distinctly real but certainly doesn’t belong to us, like slipping through a fold in time and ending up in someone else’s dreams.
Powell’s four songs are suitably unhurried, the little dashes of playful experimentation nudging this in to his most accomplished and essential work, while Klein’s own contributions riches a peak on the tender closing track ‘Race’ where little real-world noises find their way between the cracks of his burned-out voice, somewhat desolate and ever compelling, a stark reminder of his downbeat brilliance, intoxicating and vital.
The whole thing is available to download via Bandcamp right now, on a pay-what-you-want basis; and you can stream all eight tracks right here: