Virgo Indigo, the latest album by Newfoundland’s Fog Lake, a.k.a. Aaron Powell, is a beautiful blend of lo-fi gloom pop, brimming with moments of promise and warmth. Perhaps one of the reasons why I took so long to write about this record is because I found myself unable to focus on anything other than how glorious it was, and for the first time in a very long time, I didn’t actually feel a sense of urgency about writing about a piece of music. This album means a lot to me, and I’ll tell you why: I’m sure many of you who love music can relate, but occasionally I experience periods of feeling pretty detached from music and tend to forget about really listening to it, and instead end up worrying about when I can get a review out, what I can say, and what others are saying. Recently, I was going through one of those moments and was desperately clawing at all different kinds of music so as to try feel something again, but it only took one listen of this album to get back those goosebumps, and to get back that emotional release I’d been so longing for. To feel a connection to a piece of music after such a long time was an incredible relief, and I’m so happy (and not surprised) that it was something by Fog Lake that made it happen.
Perhaps one of the best features of Powell’s music is how intimate it is – there’s almost a sense of being in the same candle-lit room as him, as the warbly guitars and his husky voice floats gently through your headphones. The lo-fi quality of this album could not be better suited, and to have it any other way would see the end of the raw emotion that comes with the slightly roughed-up edges. Possibly the only moments of expanse come from the sense of looking out from within, as experienced on the instrumental tracks, ‘transcanada’ and ‘fading away’ that have a beautifully transcendental atmosphere. Between these, the quivering slow-burners and the more upbeat tracks on the album, there’s a perfect balance that draws you in.
I love everything about this record – from the gentle strums, the emotive lyrics, the DIY quality, the slightly romantic haze – it’s all perfect. If this is your first time experiencing Fog Lake, I seriously suggest taking the time to go back and check out his previous records – they’re all golden.