SYBLING, Lakehouse Review
“Lakehouse:” The enigmatic SYBLING sisters
SYBLING, composed of the enigmatic sisters Alice and Mariana Makwaia, offers listeners an auditory journey with their latest single, “Lakehouse,” a vital chapter in their forthcoming EP, Strange Ways.
From the moment you press play, SYBLING masterfully blends folk and electronica as “Lakehouse” surrounds you with electronic wind sounds and an arpeggiated acoustic guitar pattern. The synergy between the sisters’ vocals is uncanny, casting a spell that’s both enchanting and unsettling. Their harmonization amplifies the song’s palpable tension, especially during the poignant line, “I think I’m going back,” as they break into haunting harmonies set against moody strings.
Thematically deep and drawn from eerie, real-life inspiration, “Lakehouse” revolves around introspection and shifting identities. It is a visceral story encapsulated in under three minutes, conjuring images of a dilapidated lake house that Alice glimpsed during her time at summer camp.
On a comparative note, “Lakehouse” subtly pays homage to their previous single, “Radio,” melding a contemporary sound with nostalgic elements. The sisters showcase their diverse influences—ranging from classical music to iconic 1960s singer-songwriters. Their East Village upbringing and musical palette are steeped in acoustic, Celtic, and Indigenous traditions, evoking sounds reminiscent of CocoRosie, Fleet Foxes, and even Joan Baez.
Alice, the introspective half of the duo, imbues the composition with a variety of instruments, including classical piano and whimsical glockenspiel. Mari adds vitality with her percussion and evocative songwriting. Together, they weave these elements into a musical narrative that’s captivating and emotionally resonant.
The extended ending elegantly unwinds the layered tension, reverting to the initial acoustic guitar and dissolving into ambient wind sounds. “Lakehouse” is a vivid example of SYBLING’s uncanny ability to blend rich storytelling with complex musical arrangements, setting a high bar for Strange Ways, their upcoming EP.
October 12, 2023