Calm Lake – “Le Seltzer”

Cover art by Jessica Segura

A new track from Montreal-based band Calm Lake, “Le Seltzer” struts a warmly melodic ’90s rock nostalgia within a jangly haze. There’s a poignant yearning in the lyrics and hazy vocal expression. “We’ve all had it rough last year, stuck in our bedrooms, afraid to be so near,” singer/songwriter Nikki Celis lets out, accompanied swiftly by guitar tones with a smiling familiarity reminiscent of Wrens and Smashing Pumpkins. The “le seltzer,” refrain plays with hypnotic allure, especially upon the dashes of synths accompanying in the final minute. “Le Seltzer” easily engrosses throughout, meshing familiarity with inventiveness.

“In Montreal, people have been finding ways to express their creativity,” Celis says, describing the release as an “anti-jingle.” “Whether that’s making new musical projects like Calm Lake, making their ‘quarantine songs’ or even starting new businesses. This is my take on a quarantine song.”

“Le Seltzer” and other memorable tracks from this month can also be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of December 2021’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Indie Rock.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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