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Arctic Lake: Masters of Vulnerable Alt-Pop Set to Soar Again

Arctic Lake, the maestros of intimate alt-pop, have mastered the art of laying bare their souls. Vulnerability, their most potent weapon, forms the foundation for their moving, synth-infused soundscapes, prominently featured in their debut single "Limits" and a captivating series of EPs, including "Closer," "What You May Find," "See Inside," and the 2022 gem, "side by side we lie awake." Atwood Magazine hailed the latter as a "shiver-inducing collection of stirring alt-pop ready to break our hearts and mend our souls." The trio has also made waves through successful collaborations with acclaimed producers like ZHU ("Yours"), German DJ Boris Brejcha ("House Music"), and Lane 8 ("Road," "What Have You Done To Me?").

Coming from contrasting backgrounds, with Emma hailing from Lincolnshire and Paul from the London suburbs, their initial co-signs from external forces underlined the magic they had discovered. Emma, a rebellious music enthusiast exposed to everything from Depeche Mode to Ella Fitzgerald, and Queen by her music-obsessed father, paired perfectly with Paul, a self-described "middle-class and sheltered" metal fan initially "terrified of everything, including Emma." They both reflect on how their seemingly opposing characters complemented each other from the start. "Paul always made me feel really safe. When I first started, I was so scared to show my ideas, whereas with Paul, I always felt that everything was valid, and that's so important to help you grow," shares Emma.

Over the years, Arctic Lake underwent some changes, shedding a few members and adding new releases to their repertoire. Each step marked a small milestone, reinforcing their belief that they were on the right path. In 2016, their single "Heal Me" was handpicked by none other than Elton John and featured on his Rocket Hour show. That same year, the band made their debut at the Reading and Leeds festival. Across their first three EPs – "Closer" in 2017, "What You May Find" in 2019, and "See Inside" the following year – they learned to trust their instincts more, with Paul taking on an increasingly prominent role in co-production.

Their upcoming EP, "How Do You Make It Look So Easy," marks their second release under Universal Music subsidiary Astralwerks. It showcases the duo's ability to harness the experimentation of their previous work and refine it into a sound that is unmistakably Arctic Lake. As Paul explains, "Now it's us saying, 'We can do what we want but it all has to exist in the same world.' There's some pretty upbeat stuff but the lyrics are consistent. We took away all the rules but now we're putting a few of them back in." Arctic Lake is poised for yet another exhilarating musical journey that promises to captivate their ever-growing fan base.


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