Americana quartet Lake & Lyndale have been paving a path of their own. The group (singer Channing Marie, guitarist Jonathan Krentz, bassist Eric Clifford, and drummer Tyler Kloewer) moved to Nashville a few years back from MN, where their name comes from. The band, noted for live shows and acclaimed singles, “There’s a Weight” and “Still Here” found themselves limited like everyone in the pandemic; kept both offstage and out of their usual studio. Doing what they could during 2020, the group made a wise decision; they’d put out a stripped down EP, releasing some songs in their truest forms.
Marie says, “We started working on this project and fell in love with it, leading us to decide that this will be Vol. 1 with more projects like this to come.”
In the Nude Vol. 1 is due out June 25th. Working with producers Alex Kiel and Jon Estes, Lake & Lyndale shaped their songs into lovely, spare renditions that highlight the group’s songwriting skills without sacrificing any musicality.
Although the move to this sound may be surprising, Marie points that these songs are not only largely road-tested, but have also been worked through multiple formats. “We’ve been playing these songs out for awhile from writer’s rounds to full band shows,” she says. “For this project in particular we tried to keep things simple while serving the song.”
The group didn’t necessarily pick the songs to develop a common theme, but a nice focus developed all the same. The four originals reveal a willingness to intelligently engage the past in order to move forward.
“Crooked Path” (written by Marie) and “First One” (written by Krentz, Marie, Davis Corley) most explicitly look at personal history. Whether it’s looking back understanding things you’d do differently, or looking back and finding yourself laughing about a “first” you may have had- they’re all about appreciating the journey.
“Dancing with Your Ghost” (written by Krentz, Marie, and Kloewer) deals with the fallout of a relationship that you can’t quite let go of. The memory of a love gone wrong can be somewhat of a haunting feeling, which is captured in this song. “Worth Saving”, written by Marie and Kayley Hill visits different scenarios and knowing “that there are times to repair and sometimes to let go”- says Marie.The song moves from lighthearted concerns about a pair of jeans, to an old car, to a relationship. For anyone concerned, Marie’s old Firebird with its duct-taped headlight still sits in her parents’ yard.
Always full of surprises, the group closes the EP with a “lullaby-esque” cover of Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
Marie says- “Queen has always been a huge influence on us. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” came up very organically. Jon was playing the song with this haunting halftime feel and I immediately loved it. We wanted to put our own twist on a classic, without completely disregarding the original.”
Even with the EP yet to be released, Lake & Lyndale have plans in place for upcoming projects. Their full-length album debut should come up next, and then they intend to do another stripped-down EP (Vol. 2). “It’s a good way to keep moving forward and to keep the songwriting wheels turning”- Marie says.
That fire and flexibility serves the band well. While first receiving attention on local radio in both Nashville and the Twin Cities, the group’s also gained national attention with music in ads and tv shows, including Top Chef.
With In the Nude Vol. 1, Lake & Lyndale prove themselves to be a versatile group, showing both their thoughtfulness and their humor in a new setting. “Worth Saving” tries understanding when you may be letting go of things too quickly- but it's clear that these musicians have found something to hold onto.