Interview with Sam (she/her) and Chris (he/him) who are the duo that form Funeral Lakes. We had a chat about the new EP 'Redeemer' which is out on the 20th of August.
Photo by Katerina Zoumboulakis
Hi, how are you today?
Thanks for asking. We're doing alright, all thing considered!
First things first, introduce yourselves, who are Funeral Lakes?
We're Sam (she/her) and Chris (he/him). We started Funeral Lakes in 2018 self-producing music in our apartment in Vancouver, BC., and now in Kingston, Ontario.
So you guys have been creating quite a bit of music over the past year or so, including new EP 'Redeemer'. Do you find that being creative has helped you get through this time?
Yes, definitely. Music has always been a way for us to escape when we need to, but also to process things happening around us and in our personal lives. That said, there were also days when it felt really difficult to find the energy to create anything.
What is the story 'Redeemer' is telling?
The central themes of Redeemer are faith and justice, and the tension between them. There is a narrative throughout the EP about questioning what to believe and choosing what to hold on to, or to just let go of. Like many others, we had a lot of time over the past year to be in our heads, reflecting on the past and old memories, so there's a lot of personal experiences and emotions woven into the songs.
What was the recording process like for 'Redeemer'?
We recorded the EP at home over the winter months of 2021 on our own, so it was a very isolated process. We had a lot of time to rework things and experiment with different sounds and tones. Andrew McLeod (Sunsetter) replaced our midi drums with live ones on the tracks Solstice and Place I Stay, which helped elevate them to a nice place. Colin Spratt, who we always work with, mixed and mastered all the tracks.
How does this new EP differ from your previous music?
We wanted this collection of songs to reflect a time and space in which we were making them, which was during a pretty harsh eastern Canadian winter. We live in a place where there are lots of old churches, so we were also thinking about how to emulate what it might sound like if we were performing inside one - so that's why this EP has a more moody, cold, and empty sound compared to our last release.
Do you have a favourite lyric from any of the songs on 'Redeemer' that you can share?
It's hard to say, but there's a lyric from Solstice that goes: I cannot pray for rain if it wont fall / I cannot ask forgiveness if I don't want it all. It's near the end of the track when the song picks up in energy, and we're shouting and singing at the same time. It's this moment of realization and drawing a line in the sand, which reflects the larger narrative of the EP.
Photo by Roy Zheng
I saw that a lot of your music has been self-produced, do you find that this helps with your creative freedom?
For sure, it means that we get to decide how everything sounds. It's really meaningful to be able to realize a song from start to finish together. It also means that we're always learning and picking up new skills along the way, which can be both challenging and empowering.
I also saw on your Instagram (@funerallakes) that you share a lot of nature photos. Do you have a favourite place that you would recommend people check out?
When we were living in Vancouver, we would go to Pacific Spirit Park whenever we could. It's a really beautiful forest near the University of British Columbia. It's pretty rare to find a forest right in the middle of a big city, so it's a special place for us and somewhere we would go when we were looking for inspiration.
If you could have a dinner with three people dead or alive who would they be?
Honestly, we're really missing friends and family right now after being apart for a long time, so we'd love to share a meal with all of them!
Back to 'Redeemer' do you have a favourite track off of it?
They all have different meanings to us, but we really enjoyed recording Solstice. It has existed in various forms for a while now, so it's great to finally put it out into the world.
I'd like to finish with some this or that questions:
Card game or board game?
What chore is worse, laundry or dishes?
Dishes - definitely!
Would you rather have an antique item or buy something brand new?
Lastly, I just want to say thank you for doing this. Is there anything you would like to add?
Thanks a lot for the thoughtful questions! Redeemer is out on August 20th, and we hope that folks enjoy it.
Interview by Kayleigh McKenzie
Find Funeral Lakes online and pre order 'Redeemer' HERE
Read my review of 'Redeemer' below