reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether
A little over five years ago, Aaron Powell — better known as Fog Lake — recorded an EP in the hasty blur of one night. Last year, having better knowledge of recording techniques and years of new wisdom, he tackled the songs again. This is the result.
Despite the rework, inference 3 still carries a handful of eclectic mood shuffles that one would expect from an EP of demos. Powell’s production chops are showcased by stark genre and pacing shifts, like that between the upbeat, clear bedroom-pop track “painfully” and the piano-driven and melancholy “roswell” — a track that is then proceeded by the high-energy fuzzy buzzy garage tune “think things over”. The jostle of the track order is in some moments jarring, but at other times it is this element of surprise that elevates inference 3 above the plethora of bedroom-pop albums being released right now.
There is a complex unity to the full-bodied ambiance that weighs at each track — this is music that isn’t afraid to push at the edges and explore, but has a developed style formed from years of performing and self-recording. It’s hard to imagine feeling so compelled to revisit five year old emotions, but it’s clear that these songs aren’t simple self-covers. For example, “inference (ii)” has all the longing of someone who feels trapped, while “subliminal” is brimming with fresh heartbreak.
However raw and in-the-moment the original release was, (Powell removed the EP from Bandcamp when he released the revisited version), it couldn’t have been more genuine than its 2017 counterpart.
Top Tracks: “inference (i)”; “painfully”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)