Jersey City-based newcomers Overlake are the next act to come out of the North Jersey scene. The trio—which consists of lead vocalist/guitarist Tom Barrett, bassist Lysa Opfer and drummer Scotty Imp—formed in the beginning of 2012, spending the past year penning their Killing Horse debut, Sighs. Along with frequently playing throughout the area, the band recently embarked on a tour that led them to this year’s South By Southwest festival.
Sighs is airy and calming, but has a dark charm to it that is consistent throughout the record. The album opens with a purely instrumental track, appropriately titled, “First.” This isn’t the only completely instrumental song on the LP, and is later followed by “Your KS,” an interlude that is primarily made up of feedback with the low ringing of a guitar in the background. While both are at risk for becoming tedious, the band finds the perfect balance between the tracks and their placement on the full-length that enhances its soft ambience.
The first song after the intro is “Disappearing,” which has been strongly influenced by ’90s alternative rock, and the listener is first introduced to Barrett’s quiet, breathless voice. “Our Sky” and “Fell Too Far” are the two most upbeat on Sighs, both exhibiting a very poppy, indie feel. The latter features Opfer taking a turn at the mic, leading the vocals of the track. “Not Enough” is also notable, beginning gently but building intensity as it reaches its close, combining the melody that carried the song with increasingly vigorous percussion.
Sighs flows together flawlessly and is beautifully mixed, keeping up with the overall chilling theme of the disc. The time Overlake poured into creating their inaugural album does not go unnoticed, and it’ll be exciting to see what they produce next.
In A Word: Mellow