Lake Hypoxia, the new EP by Swiss band Silver Firs, may sound at times like a manifesto for the pandemic. However, the band’s first release in five years is equal parts retrospective and a mediation on the now. Largely written during a hiatus, the release was ultimately completed against the backdrop of the lockdown that halted the world, allowing the band to finally develop the songs and ideas they had accumulated.
While Silver Firs perform as a seven-piece group, Lake Hypoxia is a close collaboration between singer Belia Winnewisser and songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Raphael Elmiger.
The two have created a loving mosaic of genres and idiosyncrasies. The band’s earlier sound still shines through with notes of psychedelia and dreampop and a preference for exuberant percussion. The new songs, however, are more direct; repetitive beats, lush saxophone parts and percussion are seamlessly integrated, with a nod to krautrock and no wave.