AL2023 771 Edit 1

ARCTIC LAKE

  • Patterns, Brighton

Steadily cementing their niche of emotive, intimate, expansive yet earwormy alternative pop, vocalist Emma Foster and producer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Holliman have spent their near-decade together as Arctic Lake working their way to themselves. Having achieved unexpected success with 2015 debut single ‘Limits’ - gaining plays on Radio One and label interest from their earliest moves - they instead decided to take a step back, cultivate their sound and build things slowly from the ground up.

Over a series of self-released EPs - 2017’s ‘Closer’, 2019’s ‘What You May Find’ and the following year’s ‘See Inside’ - Arctic Lake learnt what they wanted beyond a lucky first move: to create work that felt boundaryless but still cohesive, tied together by an emphasis on lyrical depth and a musical stitching together of the organic and synthetic. Along the way they’ve been championed by Elton John, handpicked for Reading and Leeds festival and collaborated on a series of highly successful tracks with American producer and DJ Lane 8 (2020’s ‘Road’ sits at more than 43 million Spotify plays). In 2022, meanwhile, they signed to Universal Music offshoot Astralwerks, kicking off the partnership with the release of their ‘side by side we lie awake’ EP.

Next comes ‘How Do You Make It Look So Easy?’ - a collection of tracks that distil everything they’ve learnt into one empathetic, sonically exploratory whole. It’s the final primer before Arctic Lake launch into their long-sought-after debut album proper and, says Foster, things finally all feel in their right place. “I'm so glad it’s happened this way because we wouldn’t be writing the album we’re writing now if this had all happened five, six years ago. We wouldn’t know ourselves and what we want to talk about as much; I’m so happy.”