Celebrating 10 Years With LAKE

Post Author: Katie Bennett

To celebrate this summer marking the 10-year anniversary of LAKE being a band, I asked member Ashley Eriksson to find a photo from each year, and to write a short caption about each photo. Together with Eli Moore, they scrounged the moments below from the LAKE archives.

Although LAKE started as a “for fun” band ten years ago, with their debut performance at Eli’s birthday party, what they’ve accomplished in the past ten years (signing to K Records, releasing eight full-length albums, internationally touring with Half-handed Cloud, Adrian Orange, and Laura Veirs…) shows that playing music has always been a priority in their lives. While asking Ashley a few questions for this piece, she admitted that after their first performance, “we all had in our minds that we were going to do some serious collaborating as soon as possible.”

Their music has varied over the years, and so has their line-up. “If we had changed our band name every time the line-up changed, then we would have changed our name around 6 times,” Ashley says. Overall, there’s an easiness to the band’s sound, a lack of urgency, and also an indulgence in instrumentation and harmonies that play out beautifully, all characteristic of both their physical surroundings in the Pacific Northwest and also their wide-ranging influences: Arthur Russell, Fleetwood Mac, and Dear Nora. Of the songwriting, Ashley explains, “I do believe there are a few archetypes that we keep fulfilling, such as the uplifting or hopeful song, the dance song, or the spiritual questioning song.”

As for their approach to keeping it together so long? Ashley says that having multiple songwriters helps. While she and Eli have been the two consistent band members throughout the years, and, in turn, the main songwriters, Markly Morrison (who releases solo music under the name Skrill Meadow) contributes songs, as does Andrew Dorsett. The real secret, though? “The band is based around love, friendship, and not changing our band name.”

lake 2005
2005: A basement show around the time of that birthday show. Olympia, WA.

lake 2006
2006: Recording at the Department of Safety. Probably working on a vocal arrangement. Anacortes, WA.

lake 2007
2007: Promo photo for Half-handed Cloud/LAKE northwest shows. Taken in front of the infamous upside down tree. Anacortes, WA.

lake 2008
2008: Somewhere in Sweden. Taken by John Ringhofer. Shows in Scandinavia with Half-Handed Cloud, borrowing my dad’s red Volvo.

lake 2009
2009: Karl Blau/LAKE Zebra tour. Snacks! Taken by John Ringhofer in the parking lot of his church, in front of our big grey van. Berkley, CA.

lake 2009-2 1
2009: Selling merch in a backyard in Dallas, TX on the Karl Blau/LAKE tour. I sewed that shirt in the van so I could wear it as soon as possible.

lake 2010
2010: Staying at a promoter’s family house in the mountains. We got some espresso in the morning at an old train station. Darnius, Spain.

lake 2010 2
2010: Something we noticed about most places we went in Europe was the proliferation of bread, cheese and cold-cuts. Ebensee, Austria.

lake 2011
2011: We asked LAKE to play our wedding, with the addition of David Jaberi and special guests, Karl Blau, April Schief, and Summer Schief. Langley, WA.

lake 2012
2012: Our first tour in Japan with Four Bonjour Parties. Matsumoto, Japan.

2013 LAKE
2013: En route to San Diego, California. West Coast Tour with R. Stevie Moore.

2014 lake
2014: Mark and Andrew in front of Hot Coffee Can Machine in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Eli Moore.

2015 lake
2015: Carving portraits out of clay for our upcoming album, tentatively titled Forever or Never. Photo by Eli Moore.