In Conversation: Arctic Lake

Shimmering with honesty and intimacy, Arctic Lake’s soothing soundscapes and iridescent melodies hit you in all the right places. Following on from the release of ‘Shed a Tear’ on 28th June, which has already garnered widespread international acclaim, we caught up with the trio to find out more about their music, future plans and (more importantly) where to get the cheapest pints in London.

Tell us a little bit about your music journey so far

Emma: We met each other in 2012, spent some time experimenting and making really terrible music together before writing ‘Limits’ in 2015. From that moment until now we’ve just been writing, learning about the industry, developing (we hope) and most of all enjoying it! We’ve released a few singles and two EP’s, played some brilliant shows and had some amazing love and feedback from both the industry and our listeners. All in all, our journey so far has been difficult but so rewarding and we couldn’t be more grateful!

How did you all meet and what’s the story behind the name Arctic Lake?

Paul: We all met at university a while ago, probably a bit longer than we’d like to admit so we’ll skip over that bit… The name was a lucky accident to be honest – we used to play kind of heavy rock music (not very good rock either) and just randomly chose the name somehow. After we started to make more chilled out music, we realised the name actually worked really well and so stuck with it! 

You’ve just released your latest single ‘Shed a Tear’, how did it all come together?

Andy: Well, we first wrote the song at Emma’s place and were just writing in the lounge working through some ideas when it came together. Paul channelled a lot of himself through this one in particular, but we’ve all had a pretty emotional year, so it was quite a good medium to pour ourselves into. We then took the song into the studio, and it started to take on its own persona. It felt very emotional but also the melodies and pace felt quite optimistic, so it ended up having this really interesting juxtaposition.

You’ve been featured on a number of Spotify playlists, what’s your favourite one you’ve been featured on and why? 

Emma: That’s difficult as each playlist is special for different reasons and we’re so happy to be on each and every one! I guess one of our favourites would have to be ‘The Most Beautiful Songs in the World’. It was a playlist we’d always wanted to be featured on because it includes so many artists we admire and is always consistently stunning to listen to. We’ve now been placed on it multiple times alongside such lovely music, so it means a lot! 

We’re loving the Arctic Lake mix you’ve curated on Spotify – is this the kind of stuff you listen to yourselves?

Paul: It is indeed. We all have tastes that overlap but are very different in a lot of ways, which is great for a mix like that to keep it from getting too samey. We actually put this mix on when we’re on tour or travelling because it’s got a bit of everything from pop bangers to instrumental piano – which keeps everyone happy.

What can we expect to see at your UK tour in October?

Andy: Well, it’s our biggest tour so far, so rest assured we’ll be putting everything into it! It’ll be the first time we play our new set of songs at a headline show, and I’m sure we’ll be including some material that isn’t out yet. We’re travelling in a tour van this time since the sad, tragic and unforgettable loss of Paul’s 2003 Ford Mondeo, also known as Maureen (forever in our hearts..), so we might even be able to bring some more synths, lights and drums this time to make the shows a little more special.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Emma: I’m sure the boys have specific moments but as cheesy as it sounds, for me it’s all the people that share their stories with us, whether it’s after a show or across social media. People share their lives with you and how our music has helped them, which just really hits me every time. I mean the reason we do this is to connect with people, that’s what it has always been about for us, sharing human experience and emotion, so that’s a constant highlight and means the world to me.

“The reason we do this is to connect with people, that’s what it has always been about for us, sharing human experience and emotion…”

So we’ve got a Friday night free in London, what’s the plan and where should we go? 

Paul: Ok I’ve got you covered, this is a tried and tested Friday night in London for us (probably too many times), but it’s never failed me so here we go… We start at the Captain Kidd pub in Wapping, right by the river with a great garden and some of the cheapest drinks you’ll find in London, all inside a classic 17th century English pub. Once you’ve had a pint or 10, we’ll hop on the overground and head to Dalston to go to Ridley Road Market bar, where the drinks are also outrageously cheap (you’re probably sensing a theme here… I’d recommend the frozen cocktails) and the tunes are also outrageously cheesy. There also might be a lime or orange flying around the dance floor from the crate of fruit by the bar that someone (definitely not me) has decided to take for some reason. Once we get kicked out of there, you could get an Uber home but I’d recommend heading to Maccies and completely over ordering in your drunken state so you still feel full when you wake up the next day. So, there we go, see you Friday? 

Are there any exciting projects you’re currently working on?

Andy: We’re always trying to work on something new, and at the moment we’re trying to be as creative as possible! We’re also trying to be as independent as possible, which is something that’s really important to us, so we’re teaching ourselves how to film, shoot photos and just generally learn new skills. Next thing you know Paul will be taking up pottery and I’ll be knitting t-shirts for the next tour ahahah.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Emma: Writing our hearts out in a studio and laughing every day before spending the next couple of years on a tour bus with my two best friends, taking over the world.

If you’d like to find out more about Arctic Lake, you can follow them via FacebookYouTubeInstagram and Twitter. Their new single ‘Shed a Tear’ is now available on Spotify.

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