I was not an early adopter when it comes to the LASKA bandwagon. My homie Scott had mentioned the name of the band repeatedly over several weeks, maybe months, but for some reason, I just didn’t take the time to listen. Finally, they were scheduled to play at The Venue, just behind the main room at The Plus and the cover was only five bucks. So, I decided to see what all Scott’s hubbub was about. Turns out, it was a worthy hubbub.
I was captivated by what I heard that night. The combination of beautiful voices (angelic even, according to my man, Ben Shaw), excellent craftsmanship, and creativity were on full display that night. I became a LASKA fan over the course of that set, and the deal was sealed when they powerfully closed the show with their intense epic, The Haunting.
Since then, I’ve had the privilege of seeing LASKA play several more times and they have never, ever disappointed. The Morton sisters and accompanying band members have something special. They are displaying that “something special” in their new record, in the blossom of this.
From the very beginning, as the opening track Paralysis kicks in, the listener is invited into that something… that incredible combination of raw talent, musicianship, creativity, and some innate element. While I struggle to define that innate something, I think it has to do with intimacy. There is something about this record which takes us deeper into the psyche, into the emotional world, of Bex, Hannah, and Mookie Morton. While this intimacy is shrouded in their own personal stories, there is something ultimately relatable for me as I listen…
…the angst of being hurt by someone, yet still wanting to be with them
…the cathartic nature of getting “all this shit out” (from Coffee Naps)
…the longing inherent in To Hold You
These emotional dynamics pervade in the blossom of this and are perfectly entangled in the wonderful talent, creativity, and craftsmanship that has typified LASKA from the time I first listened.
in the blossom of this ends with the same kind of intense feel as their first record, Ceiling Zero, which climaxed with the aforementioned The Haunting. The final track, Sunset Casual, seems to veer away from the relational struggle of the rest of the EP and wades into bigger, more cosmic waters. At first, it may seem to be a little disjointed from the relational angst, catharsis, and longing of the rest of the tracks. However, it seems to be the fitting end to a thread running throughout the EP. At some point, since relationships are so central to human existence, it would make sense for the Mortons to meander from the immediate and intimate to the meaning (or lack thereof) of life overall. Kinda feels like that’s what’s happening here.
From beginning to end, LASKA has created an emotive, intimate, and, from the sounds of it, brutally honest record, one that is well worth the time to listen and feel through. in the blossom of this will be available everywhere March 22nd.