Submitted by Sandy Graham
Toronto-based Ian Lake is one of Canada’s most gifted actors, and now he can add musician to the mix. His highly acclaimed single “The Bottom” was released in 2021, from his upcoming debut album What It Is, set for release in 2022. His new single and video “EASIER,” is a letter of encouragement to himself and to all of us struggling through this difficult time.
Listen and enjoy “Easier” on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/tefz1QJLtCk
As accomplished Canadian actor Ian Lake steps into the Canadian music landscape, he stays true to his nature, revealing his personal stories of love, struggle, and lessons learned, in his songs. His new single “Easier” is as beautiful a blue-eyed soul ballad as you’ll hear anywhere, with Lake’s heartbreaking voice set against a backdrop of the most gorgeous Gospel harmonies, and a surprising but satisfying mellotron. It tells the story of a man who discovers the importance of self-forgiveness, building to the wisdom of the final line, “Love is all there is.”
Lake’s impassioned vocals dominate as he plays the Wurlitzer piano, ably backed by in-demand session/touring bassist Steve Zsirai. Producer Matthew Barber sweetens the sound with an unexpected but captivating mellotron, in addition to all of the other instruments he plays on the song. The angelic harmonies that really pull the song together are brilliantly arranged by Anika Johnson, and expertly executed by Anika, Barb Johnston, and Jewelle Blackman.
Lake calls “Easier” his self-help song. During the first lockdown, as he was spending all of his time with himself, a large stack of self-help books started to grow on his shelf, and this song came out of a lot of the lessons he was learning about self-love and compassion. He says, “This was the first song I wrote where the ‘you’ in the song wasn’t a love interest. In this song, the ‘you’ is myself. It was really empowering to write that way, and try to give myself some of the love and energy I’ve often given so readily to others.”
The stunningly charming accompanying video, produced by Lake and Martin Wojtunik, directed by Rachel Cairns and featuring Anika Johnson, Barb Johnston, and Jaz Fairy J, visually highlights the daily grind – especially in a lockdown scenario – yet finds the uplifting aspects even in the mundane.
Lake’s mission is to have people recognize themselves in his music. His songs are genuine, playfully irreverent, and sometimes deeply poetic; all with a vocal passion that can’t help but stir you to feel it all along with him.
A storyteller at his core, Ian Lake’s true gift is connecting people through the unifying bonds of our shared human experience. Powerful, textured vocals and brutally honest lyrics, set to catchy pop melodies, give Lake’s songwriting immediate impact, and leave a lasting impression. Lake writes about his own experiences, yet still allows room for listeners to relate it to themselves. He approaches songwriting from the perspective that, when we hear a great song, it’s not the writer’s life we think about – but our own.
With a voice that ranges from the smooth comfort of a baritone, to the emotional belt of a tenor, to the raw intimacy of a high falsetto, Lake’s vocal style has evolved from his inspirational influences, like Glen Hansard, James Blake, Justin Vernon, and Jeff Buckley. He sings each note from a place deep in his belly, and the authenticity can’t be denied.
For more on Ian Lake check out: