Arctic Lake took to the BBC Introducing stage today at 13:50 with a hauntingly beautiful set. The London based three piece performed through the rain with a simple style and produced something of an ethereal atmosphere with the small crowd gathered to see them.
Forming in early 2014 after meeting at the University of Westminster, Arctic Lake have already amassed a large amount of success, with “Limits”, their first single, having been streamed on Spotify over one million times, and with the reception of their set today, it can be assumed that this is only the beginning. Comprising of Emma Foster on vocals, Andy Richmond on drums and Paul Holliman on guitar and keys, the trio have found a gap in the market and seem to have found the perfect sound to fill it.
Front woman, Foster, possesses a stillness, rarely found in the music industry nowadays, that commands attention. Her stage presence seeps through her performance and suggests that Miss Foster is no stranger to the stage. Drummer, Richmond, and guitarist, Holliman, also seem to have a presence that is undeniably strong in its simplicity, and when the three of them were in full swing the on stage connection was immeasurable. Fosters vocals are reminiscent of Sinead O’Connor, and the understated style of music created by this trio draw to mind thoughts of Bon Iver.
One might think that the slow set list for todays performance is lacking in uptempo additions, however, the haunting sound of Arctic Lake carries through and demands to be heard, regardless of speed. Opening with the newest release to the Arctic Lake Soundcloud, “Friends”, the trio proved they can entice an audience and their choice of cover for their second number, New Order’s “Blue Monday”, showcased the power behind Foster’s vocals. The rest of the set was made up of Arctic Lake originals; “Heal Me”, “For Us”, and finally, “Limits”.
Taking a line from their popular first single, Foster sings “bound by limits that were never set by me”, however, it is my prediction that today’s performance has highlighted just how limitless this band truly are. Reading and Leeds 2016 is definitely just the beginning for this young trio, and their set is up there in my Top Ten Moments of Reading Festival!