EP Review: ‘The Lake’ by IKO

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Track List:

The Lake

For The Cameras

No Guarantees

Twenty Six

Iko – the melodic rock band from Exeter, UK –  has just released their second EP ‘The Lake’ via label My Hart Canyon Music.  Moving forward from their success with the ‘Breaking Dawn Part 2 Soundtrack’, Iko has come back with an EP so beautifully written, that you will find it hard to fault.  From the delicate “The Lake” to the anthemic “No Guarantees”, Iko has created a beautiful piece of work.

“The Lake” is a beautiful story, a realisation of love. The introduction to this song is outstanding. I love the way the melody flows perfectly to fit the words – perfect combination. The second set of intermitted guitar chords add to this combination, giving the sense of two very different people. The dreamer versus the realist, perhaps. The realist struggles with the feeling for the dreamer. Love the way the melody changes when he asks ‘do I love her’?

“For The Cameras” seems to pull from experiences of fame. Very menacing chorus and melody. Is this an underlying message of the way fame can feel?  Piano notes are beautiful, complemented by the vocalists pleading.

“No Guarantees” has such an anthemic vibe to it. The music in this song soars, glides, hits, levels and rises again. The echoes of voices reinforce the message in the lyrics.   Picture this song being played live in a massive arena – not dissimilar to a Coldplay anthem.  The song has a long instrumental ending to it, reinforcing the tone of the song. A little reminiscent of A-ha, too.

“Twenty Six” has an amazing acoustic guitar intro and with ‘rushing’ sounds during verses fused with echoes of children’s voices in the background, this appears to be a song about childhood. More lovely notes from both guitar and piano during the chorus, changing the sound somewhat – ensuring you listen to the message of the song.  Lyrics suggest a relationship has moved on but is scarred by the past “there’s no tears where we’ve gone but there are some left on my sleeve”. Or, the suggestion of wanting to be back in childhood – free from the complications of adulthood.

The vocals are perfect throughout. Consistent. Fans of Iko are going to love it.  It’s hard to judge objectively as I’m a huge fan. However, having the ability to produce an EP full of meaning and exceptional music it will be hard not to like.  “No Guarantees” definitely stands out for me.

You can download “The Lake” from iTunes.

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