• Darby VanDeVeen

Funeral Lakes Pause and Reflect on the State of the World in Golden Season

Funeral Lakes is the duo from Toronto consisting of Sam Mishos and Chris Hemer. Their indie music is emotionally charged, often focusing on political topics such as climate change and the current political arena. Golden Season, their latest EP covers those topics over the course of 3 songs. A strong and frantic tone puts the duo in a strong position to make a change and inspire others to start the process of change. Drawing from fears and frustrations, Funeral Lakes asks the listener to pause and take note of the world around them. The EP is meant to be a period of transition and stimulate reflection and discussion about the world around us. I interviewed Sam and Chris and did a deep dive into the EP and the little details hidden in it.

How did you guys meet and why did you decide to start making music together?

We’ve been partners for 5 years now and we’ve both been playing music before we met, so naturally, we started playing music together. We decided to start Funeral Lakes in 2018 as a medium to express our fears and frustrations about the realities of the world we’re now living in. We’ve always used music as a way to cope and process our emotions and experiences, so this project has been a really helpful way for us to do that together.

Does the name Funeral Lakes have a story behind it?

There are a few reasons, but ultimately it represents a eulogy to nature. Our whole project is about creating an atmosphere and evoking an emotional response. We try to get that across through our music and artwork, as well as the name Funeral Lakes itself.

Golden Season is a politically charged EP, tackling topics from toxic masculinity to the state of our climate. What inspired you to start making music talking about such relevant and prevalent topics in our society?

Politics and the personal aspects of that have always been topics we’ve approached with our music. This project began while Chris was still working as a political staffer, so a lot of these topics were top of mind. We’re both deeply concerned about the world we’ve inherited and what lies ahead given the climate crisis we’re living through, so music has been a cathartic way to process and express how we’re feeling about it all.

As the EP goes on, each song seems to get more energetic and borders on frantic. Was this a conscious choice?

We’re happy that you noticed this. One of the central themes of Golden Season is the concept of transition, and that’s something we wanted to approach sonically. We try to draw the listener in and get them on our side so that they’re feeling as justified as we are by the time we start yelling. Both in music and in life, we think it’s important to create understanding, but also to embrace the cathartic release of emotions – whether that be anxiety, frustration, anger, or otherwise. It was a conscious effort to try to incorporate this into the EP.

You guys wrote Golden Season in 2 days. What was the process of writing and creating the EP like?

We recorded the EP over 2 days, but the songs have existed in various iterations for years. We have a space at home where we’re always actively writing and demoing songs, so we have a pretty big catalog to choose from once we’re ready to release a body of work. With this EP, we chose the 3 tracks because of their cohesive energy and themes – they’re really a reflection of where we’re at. We wanted them to sound big, so being able to get into the studio with some friends this time around meant we were able to achieve that sound we were looking for.

If you weren’t making music what would you be doing right now?

Many aspects of music like playing live or touring are on hold for the foreseeable future because of the pandemic. We’ve always been making music and we probably always will, regardless of what life brings our way. We also have both recently started grad school, which can be quite demanding, but having a creative outlet is incredibly helpful and we feel very grateful for that.

What’s next for Funeral Lakes?

It’s impossible to predict when we’ll be able to play music live again, but we are going to keep putting out music either way. We’re always writing songs and recording in our home studio space, so you can definitely expect more releases from us in the future. We should have another EP ready in the spring and maybe a few singles before that. There’s another big project we’re working on that’s still in its early stages and will take some time to complete, but we’re looking forward to sharing it in the future.


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