Hidden Lakes | Model Airplanes (s/r)

hiddenlakes 2012Hidden Lakes have put together an unusual mixture of sounds and melodies with a lot of guts and heart.

 

Many bands have difficulty creating a cohesive sound for their listeners to carefully digest and then pigeonhole on their iPod. Model Airplanes, the freshman album by Hidden Lakes, has faced this issue and tossed their worries into the wind, no pun intended. Model Airplanes darts from acoustic folk, indie rock, synth, alt-rock, and to even some, electronic music. Given all the genres at play here, Hidden Lakes has managed to create a well-blended album. To prove the point that the songs work in this genre-shifting record, listen to just the instrumental tracks together. Brilliant, right?

Kory Kunze, lead vocalist/guitarist, put together the St. Louis band when his group Fractured Army went on hiatus. Looking to build a new sound with strong melodies and few barriers, Kunze enlisted the help of his wife Holly on vocals and percussion. Former Fractured Army bassist Rod Campbell and keyboardist Jessica Spitzer rose to the challenge, and round out the group with their strong skills.

Model Airplanes is framed by opening track “Departure” and album closer “Arrival.” Both are lush, instrumental tracks filled with the sonic qualities of liftoff, flight, and stewardess cautions to return to our seat.

Among the standouts is the short “Unfinished Basement,” which gives the listener a taste of horns and mandolin among references to faded photos and memories of things left undone. This theme slides into “The Runner,” which keeps the rhythm of a runner’s foot strike while the lyrics showcase Kunze’s ability to capture the feeling of the passerby, and rehashing the personal what-ifs in life. The mood is lifted again by the self-titled track, with its Wilco-inspired steel guitars and beautiful melodies.

Hidden Lakes have put together an unusual mixture of sounds and melodies with a lot of guts and heart. Model Airplanes is a strong debut record well worth the listen. A- | Mary Beth Hascall

RIYL: Broken Social Scene, Cut Copy, Wilco’s Summerteeth, The Walkmen, New Order

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