The Okay Lakes – “Sleeveless Hearts” + “A Cross on a Gravel Road”


Propelled by the narrative songwriting of Michigan-born artist Jordan Keller, musical collective The Okay Lakes impress with their first two singles. Releasing ahead of their debut LP in late November, “Sleeveless Hearts” and “A Cross on a Gravel Road” present a moving rock sound with resonating, anthemic vocal and structural qualities. Their expansive arsenal is warmly elaborate, with folk, rock, and chamber-pop resonance achieved via cello, viola, piano, guitar, synths, and beyond throughout the upcoming album.

Finding a lovely middle ground between dream-pop atmospherics and chirpy indie-rock, “Sleeveless Hearts” is a stellar debut single from the band. Pulsing guitars and suave vocals drive to a glistening, serene hook with easy replay-inducing appeal. The guitar-laden expressiveness rounding the two-minute mark reminds fondly of Beach House, while the acoustical-laden verses emit an autumnal lushness reminiscent of Fleet Foxes.

The second single, “A Cross on a Gravel Road” reminds fondly of The War on Drugs with its gradual development. Lush acoustical strums and twangy guitars surround a subdued vocal presence, perking up prior to the two-minute turn with piano-driven effervescence and an added vocal reflection. The “be the one to bring you flowers,” plays with sentimental, heart-tugging fervency following the satiating vibrancy of the hook.

These two tracks and others featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of November 2022’ Spotify playlist.

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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