Gather round, young ‘uns and old people alike, and let me tell you the story of the sadboy. The sadboy (alternate spelling “sadboi”) is a curious modern manifestation. Born out of an increase in global cases of mental health disorders and, well, *points to everything*, the sadboy is one who pulls their hoody tight, curls up in a ball, and doesn’t just get in their feels, but gets all up in their feels.
The music of Fog Lake, dear reader, is perfect sadboy music. Not as bombastic or overdramatic as emo, not as minimalist as ambient, but perfectly downtempo and gloomy, like a rainy day ideally suited to reflect on how much life sucks. Sadboy music is not restricted to gender identity or economic status, nor is it beholden to current trends either: notable sadboys in the musical world include Nick Drake, Elliot Smith, Tent Reznor, Aimee Mann, and Lana Del Rey, just to name a few.
‘Catacombs’, a hazy piano ballad that lives and breathes beautiful melancholia, might even be a little too happy to be a true embrace of everything sadboy. Previous songs like ‘Sad Trip’ and ‘Despondency’ live up to their titles, but ‘Catacombs’ has a certain yearning to it. Dare I say it even sounds like a Death Cab for Cutie song, or at the very least a Sufjan Stevens number. Those acts are lugubrious indie pop, but not sadboy.
The Canadian musician behind Fog Lake, Aaron Powell, is shockingly prolific for someone who has such a uniquely specific musical palate. He’s certainly wrung everything out of the sadboy aesthetic, but he also continues to put out new songs and albums that take his established sound and builds off of it. Who knew grey could have so many different shades?
Check out the audio for ‘Catacombs’ down below.