Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on an independent “electro-rock” artist, LAKOTAH. The Los Angeles based artist is signed to BooBoo Records and has a nice following online, something that has surely blossomed out of her award winning work in their area. Her latest studio endeavor is ‘Heaven’s Own,’ an intensely psychedelic number soaked in reverb and peculiarity. I’ll put the video below, because I’d argue it’s very important to the piece. Go ahead and check it out, and then read on.
As you’re coming down from your music video induced LSD trip, let’s dig into ‘Heaven’s Own’ on a musical level. It’s a very well produced track, utilizing some erratic, but surprisingly lovely instrumentation. A cello, cataclysmic electric guitar riffs, synthesizers, and electronic beats drive the song forward with epic force. The entire mix is well organized, too, which is as unique as it is refreshing. Typically, when independent acts envelope themselves in such grand soundscapes, their productions suffer all sorts of technical issues. (Poor mixing, bad micing, etc.) LAKOTAH has a firm hold over her sound, and as a result, ‘Heaven’s Own’ is a masterful and controlled manipulation of it.
Lyrically, the piece is scattered with sparse, dramatic, and vague imagery. It reminds me a bit of a Led Zeppelin track with an extra dose of psychedelic sound. That archaic Babylonian imagery is very ‘Battle of Evermore’-esque. LAKOTAH dominates the space that she occupies hauntingly; she has quite the set of chops and her delivery is wholly emotional and authentic. In fact, the combination of those tactful lead vocals and the exceptional instrumentalists makes LAKOTAH a concoction of beauty and intrigue - the act is unlike much else in the indie scene right now.
I’m not even going to pretend I truly know what is going on in that music video. It’s bizarre, a bit kitschy, and way over my head. If LAKOTAH was going for the late 60s flair, she's definitely achieved it. Despite the ridiculous stock imagery of ruins and pyramids superimposed over cookie cutter video effects, the video’s content is oddly fitting for the song. The kitschiness is actually endearing.
‘Heaven’s Own’ is a great tune with a lot of meat on its bone. I particularly like how put together LAKOTAH is. She's talented and she has great production to showcase that. She'll also have a new single dropping soon entitled ‘Soldier’s Song,’ so keep tabs for that!