Ruined Sooks on The Edge of Virginia & Lake Michigan
Ruined Smile Records just keep the hits a-comin'. New release off the shelves this week is this international split between Brisbane's Virgina Sook and London lo-fi outlier Lake Michigan (the UK distributor will be Wolf Town). Lake Michigan is Chris Marks, and he has already featured here on Sonic Masala with another split, that one with Hopelesstown; while Virginia Sook features one Lindsey Roser, who also is known here as part of hip-hop anomalies Nana Vigilante and holds pride of place of being the opening act of the first Sonic Masala Fest last year. Both acts are breathtaking in their patience, their slow build of a warm atmosphere that revels in the space between the notes. Lake Michigan reminds me of many artists in Australia that I really enjoy, in particular Mark Zian (Curlew) and Jake Core (Soda Eaves); the lyrics are almost mired in the atonal delivery, but the hushed background noise and plucked guitar brings everything into focus. Virginia Sook may have a harp, but there is something inimitably warmer and relatable that you don't get from Joanna Newsom - there is a twang in the tales here, a rustic charm that endears. You can get the split here - it's a good'un.