Aaron Powell

Combining the words ‘fog’ and ‘lake’ paint that of a tranquil scene – muddied with spirits and demons that quest and cloud. It’s hard to imagine Aaron Powell, Canadian downer-pop veteran, releasing music under a guise that conjures any other image, as Fog Lake is just that: peace-of-mind sitting dormant under a ceiling of head-fuck – waiting for the sun to dissipate self-painted shadows and sheets formed of anti-medicine. ‘dragonchaser’, the fourth full-length effort to escape Powell’s bedroom, does no different – extending a hand through the bars of self, only to strain to reach the forever elusive.

Whether it be found in the static in the air of the record, or that produced by a plethora of aged equipment, damage permeates every crack of ‘dragonchaser’ – every inch of negative space, and reflects the light shining through dust-filled atmosphere on the morning of the third day of a seven-day binge. Hues of purple and gold – caged within pools of oil, desperately try to bleed off and change, only to find barricade in a black vein of nihilism. ‘Novocain’ slugs the listener into Powell’s world of nostalgia and suffering, as if waking someone from what was meant to be an endless sleep. ‘Tolerance’ follows – all heartbreak and loss against a constant loop of swells, peaks and falls. “I’ve got a pain I think I wanna forget,” admits Powell – the hydra-sinker lamenting old love and death from a distance – strung out and out-of-mind.

Lyrically, ‘dragonschaser’ is a grand achievement in hyper-intimacy and abstraction – a thick coat of frustration and lower-mind suffocating the listener in Powell’s prison, as he sings of riding with ghosts on ‘Rattlesnakes’, and follows the thought with wishes of being younger and fearless on ‘Push’. “I didn’t know it was love,” Powell sings – disarming you with cutting honesty amidst the talking walls and bleeding skeletons on the piano-led ‘Breaking Over Branches’, where ‘Kerosene’ offers lullaby comfort that kisses off into an endless stream of bitter memory, as the words “It’s all my fault” fall from a loose jaw.

At once broken, ‘dragonchaser’ exercises self-crucifixion and self-erasure – allowing Powell the ability to traverse his head-of-hostage. Where the Newfoundland native sings of being a slave to himself on ‘Strung Back Around’, the under-current of the record speaks of a someday where all of Powell’s deer run.

Fog Lake’s latest album ‘dragonchaser’ was self-released February 17th 2017 and is available via the artist’s Bandcamp.

                                                         FOG LAKE Facebook | Bandcamp

James Musker

Music Journalism student and lover of all things sensory and cosmic.