Sorry Eyes may not be a familiar name on the York music scene, but you’ll almost certainly be aware of Chris Marks, the man behind the project. He’s probably best known for the stark, intimate acoustic tracks he records under the name Lake Michigan, and while Sorry Eyes maintains the sense of melancholy that ran though his previous output, the delivery is rather different. His forthcoming EP Something Small And Insignificant is a collection of lo-fi shoegaze instrumentals – have a listen to a track from it below, entitled ‘East-ish’.
Sorry Eyes – ‘East-ish’
‘East-ish’ is built around a series of intriguing post-rock guitar lines – Marks builds them up, pauses for the briefest of moments, then brings them back with twice the urgency. The song eventually mellows out again, drifting off into the night in a dream-like fashion. Elsewhere on the EP ‘Smiled’ drifts by in a pleasing haze, its drawn-out notes and mesmeric loops evocative of a sleepy summer evening, while ‘Swolen’ [sic?] ramps up the volume a little with its swelling bursts of fuzzy noise. ‘Moss St’ closes out the record, bundling up its rapidly plucked guitar lines into a sort of soothing musical comfort blanket – it’s the perfect evening or late night soundtrack.
The EP will be available to download on Bandcamp soon, with a limited physical release coming via Wolf Town DIY, the same label who put out the self-titled debut Lake Michigan full-length, which you can find here. For those of you in York, Chris is doing a Sorry Eyes show at The Basement on Monday 22nd April, in support of Dutch post-punks Labasheeda. Might not seem like the most obvious fit, but if Something Small And Insignificant has shown us anything, it’s that Chris Marks can succeed at whatever he puts his mind to.
While there’s already a proliferation of acoustic artists in York, I figure one more won’t hurt anyone – particularly if the artist in question has as much raw talent as Lake Michigan does. Otherwise known as Chris Marks, you may have already seen him performing as one third of Where’s Hollywood?‘s three-guitar assault team – but Lake Michigan is an entirely different prospect. His self-description as a “Post 90s whining teenager” doesn’t really do his music justice – he may only have a collection of rough demos up on his Soundcloud page, but they’re indicative of a fledgling talent that’s poised to imminently take flight.
Lake Michigan – ‘Harmonics Song’ demo
There’s something wonderfully subtle about these songs – even the most intricate-sounding guitar lines seem effortless and natural, while Marks tells his stories in hushed, fragile tones. It all feels deeply personal, but without being self-indulgent – these are intimate, honest tales of distance, love, loss, and bittersweet memories.
His music may be relatively simple, but there’s always something to keep things interesting- whether it be the twinkling, music-box sounds he conjures from his guitar on ‘Harmonics Song’, or the intriguing lyrics that run throughout his demos. A perfect example of the latter is the line that gives ‘Jam Jar’ its title – “And every regret/all the fluid from your face/I caught in an empty jam jar.”
Lake Michigan – ‘Jam Jar’ demo
I saw Lake Michigan play his first live show in the basement of Bar Lane Studios recently, and despite being nervous he was completely engaging throughout. I’d recommend that you see for yourself though, so get yourself down to one of the following dates if you can:
It may be early days for Lake Michigan, but all the signs point to something very, very promising coming from Chris Marks’ alter ego. I’d keep an eye on this one.
Find Lake Michigan on Facebook here.