Photo: Danny Clinch
To give you an impression on just how good this band are: I discovered them a week ago and have been listening to them non-stop.
The band was brought together by trumpeter and guitarist Mike Olsen 11 years ago, the other members being Bridget Kearny (upright bass), Rachel Price (vocals) and Mike Calabrese (drums). They originally wanted to produce traditional country music but swiftly elected their current style, described as “pop soul with rock and roll” – quite the combination, I think you’ll agree.
The band first showed promise when Kearny’s composition ‘Sometimes When I’m Drunk and You’re Wearing My Favourite Shirt’ won the Best Song in Jazz category at The John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2005. After self-releasing two albums (in this episode…  andPromises and Promises ), the band then signed with Signature Sound Records in 2010, releasing an eponymous LP that is upbeat – and a lot of fun – whilst also intricate. The album truly shows off the member’s individual talents, each being hugely proficient on their respective instruments. Rachel Price’s voice in particular is spectacularly soulful and demands attention from the very first note.
However, despite the band’s promise, the group briefly went on hiatus due to other musical projects and didn’t manage to commit to another release until 2012. The resultant EP, Fun Machine, featured five covers and an original; all the covers reflected the band’s distinctive style, particularly the Jackson Five’s ‘I Want You Back’.
Since then, the band has upped their game and begun to tour more frequently. In early 2013 they went into the studio to record another album, though it was not released until 2014 due to Price’s contract with another label. Regardless, the album (entitled Bad Self Portrait) is another high quality instalment to Lake Street Dive’s growing collection. It features some captivatingly slow tracks, such as ‘Just Ask’ and ‘Rental Love’, which are well worth a look.
I read a critic’s opinion somewhere regarding Lake Street Dive which stated that Price’s vocals are the main reason people should be sure that they listen to the group… but I could not disagree more. Yes, she does of course have an incredibly resonant voice, but without Mike Olson, Bridget Kearney and Mike Calabrese the magic would simply not be there. Without the full line-up there would not be half as many of the songs that define the band’s sound and captivate the listener to the point of musical ecstasy. The instrumentation is, and remains to be, fantastic and compliments the vocals in an organic and unique fashion.
Lake Street Dive is set to release their next album on February the 19th of next year: it is called Side Pony and hopefully there will be a UK tour to go along with it. If there is I implore you: don’t miss out! These guys are ones to watch, trust me.
Now y’all better know what to do by now: make your life that little bit better and Check ‘Em Out!