Isabella Svärdstam (Lead vocalist) and Niklas Willar Lidholm (Producer, guitarist, backup vocalist) are better known as Dream Lake. This Scandi Pop duo come all the way from Stockholm, Sweden and 24th November saw them unveil debut LP Lux through NIWI Records.
Now this tantalising two piece actually made their debut in 2013 with the independently released self titled EP. This mini album compromised of six sumptuous tracks and the lead single being Try. Prior to listening to Lux I gave this debut EP a quick listen to and it’s extremely relaxing plus those tasty tracks sent tingles up my spine. During the following two years Dream Lake would go on to release singles Let Us Stay In The Light and World Of Dreams via Stockholm based record label 100 Songs. Both of which went on to make the Lux album cut.
If I was to sum this delectable debut in one word it would be enchanting. Things kicked off with the Intro Lux and this ethereal piece set up the scene for what’s to come. Then we go straight into the 2014 single Let Us Stay In The Light and wow this was literally sheer perfection. Svärdstam’s airy vocals were sugary sweet and Lidholm provided the impeccable harmonies/ beats. The swooning Let Us Stay In The Light was pure dream pop, those succulent synths left me in a daze whilst those tantilising lyrics were incredibly spellbinding. World Of Dreams was so majestical, Isabella’s breezy tones were candy coated and Niklas’s back up vocals blended together perfectly. The lyrics had me hooked from the get go and all in all I was left in an utter trance. The upbeat Runway packed a weighty punch, those lyrics saw Niklas and Isabella tell a story about a longing to escape the reality of a broken heart. The vocals were silky smooth and the exquisite melody oozed plenty of indie rock vibes. Here is what Svärdstam had to say “‘Runaway’ is about having fears and that you sometimes must dare to let go of in order to embrace something new into your life.While love can feel like an unstoppable force, the lyrics remind us that relationships may fade with changing seasons. New opportunities with new people inspire us to be optimistic about the road ahead”. On the whole I was utterly entranced whilst listening to this compelling cut. Following on was the newest Dream Lake single and this comes in the shape of Crystals. Now this tune was a sumptuous slice of synthpop and the delightful vocals/ lyrics were incredibly dreamlike. Isabella’s delivery was mesmerising and at the same time I was uplifted in the process. Here is what Niklas had to say “‘Crystals’ is about looking into another person’s universe – letting your emotions speak and becoming one with the moment. We should all live and love today because tomorrow it could all be gone”. Once over it was time for the interlude and this being Inter Lux. The whole instrumentation was chilled out and at the same time I was picturing The xx. Midnight Sun presented Niklas’s and Isabella’s hard labour, irrefutable talent and artistic independence. Now this gem was a whimsical synth pop lullaby aided by luscious lyrics and an ethereal vocal delivery which enchanted me. Piano driven gem Blueness Of The Night was fast in pace and Isabella’s bright/ breezy vocals hypnotised me. Summer Rain was a blissful piece of perfection, Svärdstam’s gorgeous vocals were sweetly crisp whist Lidholm’s production/ harmonies had me envisioning British duo Summer Camp. Things then came to a close with the Post Lux outro. This breathtaking piece of dreamtronica ended what had been a stellar EP.
All in all Lux was an enthralling record which is perfect for any Summer playlist. Each tune featured was so soothing and you can easily get lost in a daydream. If you want to unwind, this is the perfect record for you as Isabella’s airy vocals transport you to another universe. These wondrous songs literally uplift my spirits and picking a favourite is a tough task. But it’s newest single Crystals that has that slight edge closely followed by Let Us Stay In The Light (the opening to Crystals had me thinking of Young Blood by New Zealand band The Naked And Famous). Now I love my Scandi Pop and that’s probably why I connected with those superb tracks straight away.