With their 2017 album Colors, El Lago won us over with their elegant take on dream pop; it sounded refined and grown-up, something those with a sensible pop palate couldn’t pull away from. But, from the moment you press play on the Pyramid EP, you meet an entirely different beast. “Citadel” announces itself with this guitar squall ripping through the front of the mix, allowing Lauren to dance in with a spritely vocal delivery; she’ll add a softer touch reminiscent of the band’s early work during the song’s chorus. “Endless” has this sharpness to it, though you can’t turn your ear away from the dark texture lurking beneath the surface. “Moths,” to me, represent the band’s greatest musical leap; the structure and off-kilter rhythm almost craft this sort of angular post-punk spun through an arthouse lens; it’s the sort of tune that leads you down a path of reflection. “Pyramid” comes in to sort of remind you of where the band’s been, nostalgically looking back upon Colors. “Solo” is another of the calmer tunes, but in being such, it really highlights the power of Lauren’s voice; I feel like that’s something I took for granted, but this whole EP is full of remarkable moment after moment. It’s even set up perfectly, heavy and strong at the beginning, full of artistic flare and bold moments, but it narrows its focus on the band’s pop sensibility as it nears the final number, closing out with a nice 46 second instrumental at the apex. Please don’t skip this EP; its out Friday via Wallflower Records.
We’re about a week or so away from the release of the newest release from El Lago, and they’ve left us with one corker of a track. There’s definitely a braver sound than we got on the band’s first LP; the guitars open with this immediate squall, feeding back in seeming anguish. That’s countered by Lauren’s voice, which, at times, takes on this quivering Bjork quality to it. But, when circling back through the song, it’s the gentle crest of the song that really seals it. The group bring back in their pop sensibility, peeling away the layers to bring in this clean glimmering sound that looks back on the band’s early work. The Pyramid EP is out on October 25th.