Let There Be Laarks

long wait pays off with rockers’ release, Fiat Lux

Thom Fountain, photos by Nick Meyer

ROCKIN’ OUT THE WOOD AND STONE. The members of Laarks performing last year at The Cabin at UWEC.
ROCKIN’ OUT THE WOOD AND STONE. The members of Laarks performing
last year at The Cabin at UWEC.

It’s been more than three and a half years since we heard Laarks’ debut album, An Exaltation of Laarks, and that’s a long wait for new music from Eau Claire’s premiere indie rockers. The four-piece has spent that time meticulously working on the new record Fiat Lux, and the results seem worth it.

Laarks released Fiat Lux May 28 as a digital download, available now on their Bandcamp.com site. After a first listen, this is certainly not the same Laarks that made the bright pop-rock you find on Exaltation. Starting with the opener “Lost,” the new album has much more of a bite, a gritty determination that runs throughout. That’s not to say it isn’t catchy; it just hits with more of a punch (or tug of the heartstrings) than most indie rock.

The album often feels like it is perfectly teetering on the edge of falling apart, with reverbed organs and guitars and (drummer Brian) Moen’s signaturely sporadic percussion.

Much of that grit comes from the production. The album – produced by drummer Brian Moen – often feels like it is perfectly teetering on the edge of falling apart, with reverbed organs and guitars and Moen’s signaturely sporadic percussion which adds to the maturity and bite that shines throughout the album – and adds to the payoff after a long wait.

In a note that accompanies the new album, songwriter Ian Jacoby discusses his draw to the British Romantics – poets like William Blake and Samuel Taylor Coleridge who heavily inspired the lyrical and musical themes throughout the record.

“It’s a simple idea really, but one that lead to all sorts of social, cultural, and artistic revolution. The Romantics believed in the power of the mind, in the power of divine vision, and (most importantly) in the power of love. Not just romantic love, but love of the self, love of human-kind, and love of the earth and spirit. These themes drive the new Laarks album, Fiat Lux.” (The title, in case you were wondering, is Latin for “Let there be light.)

Only a digital release now, Jacoby said the band hopes to have a physical pressing of the record in the future and that it was in some ways created in the “Side A, Side B” style that comes with a vinyl record.

Fiat Lux is available for download at FiatLux.Bandcamp.com.

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