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New Lake Michigan: “Vega”

Tokyo indie-pop unit Lake Michigan recently released a new EP, Frontier, and were gradually releasing each song off that set on to SoundCloud. Early returns looked pretty meh – the title track is a slow-burner that thinks a big guitar solo equals a payoff, while “Loveless” fares a bit better (the ending enters nice rush territory), but still gets bogged down in six-string heroics. All signs pointed to a relatively unremarkable release…but then comes the last cut, “Vega.” It isn’t a big left turn…nor does it really introduce any radical departures from the other two Frontier songs…but it finds Lake Michigan focusing on creating a driving indie-pop song that highlights the band’s lead vocals and ability to make something shimmery. Critically, no guitar solos pop up in the middle to hinder “Vega’s” momentum – rather, when the lead singer drops out, a piano takes her place to guide the song forward, not disrupting but helping. And it makes the guitar rush at the end feel like a pay off. Listen above.