WE REVIEW THE NEW SINGLE FROM PETER J LAKE – SURFING ON A DREAM (FEAT. ROB CLYDESDALE)
Peter J Lake is feeling retrospective but maybe that’s in his blood. Something of a custodian of musical history, the singer-songwriter often takes to social media to discuss not only his own music, but music generally.
With this his newest single feels appropriate. ‘Surfing on a Dream’ is a funk-rock ode to a youthful past in a style dripping with nostalgia.
He sings of a time when ‘life was full of possibility,’ and there was ‘no sense of responsibility,’ a carefree demeanour he calls surfing on a dream – his metaphor for the blasé hedonism of youth.
Musically, it’s different to Lake’s previous singles like ‘We Will Rise’ and ‘Scars’. Respectively piano and guitar ballads, his boyish vocals sounded delicate on songs that were instrumentally distant to ‘Surfing on a Dream’.
Here, Lake instead embraces grooves that are deep and activating, woven among chords that never traverse the expected progression. There are brassy punches and percussive hammerings that salsa with a confident swagger.
Nowhere is this more the case than when harmonised backing vocals soar with gentle beauty. The presentation is labyrinthine, occasionally to fault. There are moments when the enormity of the ensemble is ebullient but overwhelms.
Yet Lake never feels detached from the sentimental themes dispersed within his voluminous rhythms. His longing for a more straightforward past is kitsch but he endears himself with a child’s vivacious style on his most fun single yet.