Review: Arctic Lake at The Louisiana, Bristol

July 29, 2018

Arctic Lake were picked for BBC Introducing on the Radio 1 playlist back in 2015 and have featured on The CW network series, The Originals. They have just released their new single ‘Sight Of You’ and in May they had their first headline UK Tour, starting at The Louisiana in Bristol. Music journalist Rose Parish tells us why they are ‘pop bangers’ and a must see band in 2018.

I must admit, I’d never heard of Arctic Lake before seeing them at The Louisiana in Bristol this year. Though, going to see a new band is a magical interlude in life that you should soak up when you can. If you’ve never been to The Louisiana before, the venue is extremely intimate – which probably adds to the soaking up.

When I spoke to Emma, lead singer of Arctic Lake, before the gig, she mentioned they started making “slightly rockier music”. It seems weird to her now, she says. “I felt I was just yelling. Then we wrote more, and this genre kind of fell upon us.” Andy added, “but we just found Emma’s beautiful voice,” and everywhere, everyone, mentions a link to the sound of London Grammar.

They are growing with their music, and I’m looking forward to seeing where their sound goes next


Tap The Feed presented Arctic Lake at The Louisiana, and the night included music from MAUWE and Joseph Wellfair. At first there was the acoustic music of Joseph Wellfair, then changing to the music of indie pop-duo MAUWE. MAUWE set the stage before Artic Lake were last on – I’ve never seen a duo before with just keyboards and a main singer, which I found a bit cute, mixing in with their slow electronic pop. Then, it was time for the main event.

Arctic Lake on the stage

The trio are London-based Emma Foster, Paul Holliman and Andy Richmond, and they were all dressed in white, adding a glossy late 80’s gothic element to the start. I think there was a slight pause at the beginning of the gig – for anyone who has listened to their single ‘What You May Find’, you’ll be able to imagine how the pause turned into a mild echo before Emma’s voice hit the audience.

After ‘Sight Of You’ rocked out (which sounded great) it seemed more apparent they’re experimenting with a more immediate, ‘banger’ form of music. As Andy had said before the gig: “it’s weird because we are usually this chilled, ambient band and you start to listen to our version of a pop banger and you start to feel guilty, like: shit, is it ok I’m dancing to this?”

Just before the end of the night, I spoke to a fan of Arctic Lake. Although a little drunk, the fan described them as “fucking chilled…” along with “pure white lake of music, couldn’t wait for the next single, and the next… and next…” after which they tailed off with a drunken slur.

So, after this gig, I say bollocks to London Grammar – listen to a bit of Arctic Lake for a change. They are growing with their music, and I’m looking forward to seeing where their sound goes next.

Check out Arctic Lake’s music on their Soundcloud and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

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