Introducing: Fog Lake – Midnight Society and Q&A

For many readers of this blog, Newfoundland’s Fog Lake will need no introduction. ‘Midnight Society’ is singer-songwriter Aaron Powell’s latest album, released digitally and on cassette back in May. 

It’s a typically arresting and disarming collection of songs that at times comes across like an Elliott Smith and Jon Brion collaboration.

Fragile piano lines twinkle under stroked rhythmic guitar. Heartbreakingly delicate falsetto vocals somehow manage to be simultaneously sinister and angelic.

Saturated vignettes of memories dance across your mind’s eye, making you ache with their beauty and pain.

By the time the oblivion waltz of album closer ‘Die in Love’ disintegrates and fades out, you are left raw and cleansed. As always, kudos to Aaron Powell and the trademark glimmering beauty he injects into everything he releases.

I had the pleasure of having a brief chat with Aaron:

Chris: I’ve been a big fan of yours since back when Farther Reaches came out and I think Midnight Society is becoming my favorite Fog Lake record. For you, how does it rank alongside your other releases?

Aaron: Hard to say, always changing. I think every time I make a new record it’s my favorite and then when I get a sense of the response and people’s reactions to it, things tend to change. As of right now though, yes it’s my current fav I’ve made so far.

C: Is the name of the record a nod to the occult?

A: It’s actually a reference to the TV show “Are You Afraid of the Dark” – the kids in the ‘Midnight Society’ gather together to tell spooky stories that they’ve concocted and I thought there was something weirdly poignant about that idea. I’ve always wanted to make music for late nights for weirdos like myself so I started off jokingly calling the album that but eventually it ended up just sticking.

C: If one of your songs could be on the soundtrack of a TV show, what would the song be and what show would it be on?

A: I don’t watch much TV – but I mean if anything some kind of children’s horror TV show with a “shot-in-Canada” aesthetic. I find a lot of that stuff a lot scarier than modern horror and as a bit of a buff, I wanted to pay tribute to it.

C: Does your songwriting tend to be fuelled by memories and solid events or by mood and the abstract?

A: It’s a subconscious act, songwriting that is – usually when I am in the midst of writing a song I don’t go into it with anything in mind. I usually just need an outlet, if anything it’s a way of figuring out what is the real problem when I’m dealing with things mentally and have trauma I am struggling to process. It usually takes me many years to understand the true meaning behind a song, but that’s the fun of it.

C: I feel as though you are one of the artists that totally captures the sound and ethos of bedroom pop. Production-wise, how do you achieve such a singular sound?

A: Keeping it a solo project, therefore I can be as neurotic as I want and only have myself to take it out on. It’s purely a coping mechanism and I’m not afraid to admit that anymore, it was never really supposed to become a career but I have no regrets. I love making music and knowing I’ve been able to help heal others like music has healed me is the only thing that keeps me going anymore. 

Also using cheap microphones and unorthodox recording techniques. I personally don’t believe there are really any “rules” to making music.

C: What late-night snack best represents Midnight Society?

A: Nothing at all. Not eating because it’ll make you feel tired

C: What’s next?

A: Your guess is as good as mine, but Fog Lake will be a thing as long as my heart is still beating somehow.

Listen to Midnight Society here

Follow Fog Lake on Instagram and Twitter

Written by Chris Marks
Chris has a solo project called Lake Michigan and is in the band Permanent Vacation