It Looks Sad. - Sky Lake TE189


Tiny Engines is excited to announce the return of Charlotte's It Looks Sad. The label will release the band's long-awaited debut full-length album, Sky Lake, in November of 2018. It is the band's first new material since 2015. The album was recorded with Calvin Lauber (Julien Baker's 'Turn Out The Lights') in Memphis earlier this year.

Unlike any previous It Looks Sad. project, these 15 songs are more partial to synths than guitars. Opening track “Shave” recalls the thumping shimmer-pop of Washed Out, and there’re a series of sub-two-minute interludes that soak Turner’s disaffected voice in auto-tune a la fellow NC musician Mathew Cothran (Coma Cinema). Whereas Turner’s early material reached out to pull listeners in, Sky Lake builds a world that’s lush and inviting but doesn’t beg to be entered. Its hooks are noticeably less immediate than the ones on Kaiju, and the lyrics—though directed toward another unnamed “you,” a mysterious other whom Turner has sang at for years—are more ambiguous.

“I really wanted to write songs that just sounded like a dream, or visuals/symbols,” Turner says.

Although dreamy is a trite adjective, Turner says that the record, named after the Florida neighborhood he grew up in, is literally “a fantasy story of my dreams and things I’ve seen or hear in the woods while I walk.”

“I hear songs in the woods and let them kinda fall out of my mouth when I write,” he says.

On standout, “Sisters,” Turner lethargically croons, “Plastic angle, orange glow / dark towers, 3 in a row / 5 sisters stay by the lake / they’re not too far from my place I call home,” which reads like one of the acid flashbacks he refers to on 2015’s “Creature.” The whole record has an out-of-body characteristic that lends itself to the fantastical origins of the lyrics, but it never falls off into psychedelia.

Like the otherworldly wizards Beach House, Sky Lake has one foot in the heavens and one on earth. Songs like “Drool” and “Pig” spend their first halves floating upward, and then deliberately pop before they escape beyond the atmosphere. The rainfalls that ensue upon their sonic payoffs are thick yet short-lived, quickly letting up to a light sprinkle.

When it comes to music of this stature, there’s always the risk of hitting too heavy with the textures and drowning the listener before the record’s over. On Sky Lake, It Looks Sad. know precisely when to toss their audience over the bow and when to throw them a line. Like the majestic waterbody its title evokes, it’s an album that’s fit for both diving into and floating on top of—but never sinking. (bio by Eli Enis)

Track Listing

  1. Shave
  2. Bike
  3. Sisters
  4. Light
  5. Faded
  6. Seaweed
  7. Drool
  8. Graves
  9. Everyday
  10. Palme
  11. Fantasy
  12. Pig
  13. Moria
  14. Visor
  15. Stranger

Pressing Information

First Pressing (Vinyl):
200 Translucent Blue & Sea Glass Split (mailorder exclusive)
300 Custom Opaque Mixed Purple

Second Pressing (Vinyl):
200 Sea Glass & Translucent Orange Split
300 Opaque Pink w/ Turquoise Smoke Swirls

First Pressing (Cassettes):
50 Goldenrod
100 Light Blue

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