People have long looked for signs to help them find their way through life. Nature, the stars and God have all been popularly employed in these quests with accompanying responses either subtle or loud and clear.
In Colin Lake's new single “Forces Of Nature,” the title track to his upcoming record due out October 16 on Houston’s Splice Records, he describes the powerful nudges that he and his wife received from the universe telling them to go for it.
The song is upbeat with a vintage vibe and a message that could be easily applied to any aspect of life. Lake’s lyrics and energy remind listeners to be open and receptive to the signs they are being sent and that often, even if the process is uncomfortable or scary, it is worth it.
The couple met when Colin was still living in Portland and Dawn Marie lived in Texas. Both were leaving New Orleans after Jazzfest and happened to cross paths at the Louis Armstrong Airport.
“We were both on a high. Springtime in New Orleans, you can't help but just be in love with everything. If you come and you hang out for a week or two in New Orleans around Jazzfest, you just think that you literally have died and gone to heaven,” he says.
When asked if the lovers fell fast and hard for each other Lake replies" “We did and I’ve been the luckiest dude alive ever since. Just identifying when it's the right thing, the right fit, the right everything and saying okay.”
The two stayed in touch and sustained a long distance relationship for years. They moved to the Big Easy and got married in 2012, but not before their home suffered major damage from a hurricane just a few weeks before their wedding.
The young couple got a helping hand from a friend and found a new home to rent, eventually purchasing one across the street and setting up roots in New Orleans. Around 2016, Lake’s musical career was taking off but a series of events were beginning to push him and Dawn Marie in another direction.
In a short span of time, Lake lost his keyboardist and friend Marc Adams, a New Orleans fixture in the live music scene. Adams was battling cancer for the second time and was playing shows with Lake in between his chemotherapy treatments. The recordings he did on Forces Of Nature are some of the last recorded songs he played on before he died.
Lake also suddenly lost his booking agent and a short time after he had to say goodbye to Harris Rea, the founder of Louisiana Red Hot Records and the first person to sign him.
The couple had been kicking around the idea of closing shop and buying a sailboat to travel the world and it seemed all signs were pointing to yes with Lake opening his mind to the possibility that there was more to life than hustling in an uncertain music business.
They have been sailing since 2017 on their boat “The Wavelength” and after stopping for the second time in Guatemala, they decided to set up some roots there, just in time to avoid the COVID-19 craziness.
“It has kind of come around that we are looking really smart right now,” laughs Lake. “But at the time, everyone was like what are y'all doing? We were choosing to leave something great for something unknown,” says Lake.
Lake has already released two other singles off his unreleased album, "Alajuela" and "Extraordinary Times" which combined with "Forces Of Nature" show off his range as a performer. Though Lake admits he took his time to make this album, the subject matter has not lost its place in current events.
“It’s a literal thing, it’s a figurative thing and everything in between,” says Lake of the "Forces Of Nature." “We are all subject to these things that happen, little synchronicities or big events. We all run around trying to affect the outcome as much as we can and in the end, there may be a fluid scale in the grand scheme of things but everything else, it's not really up to us.”
The video, shot in part by Lake, his wife and his brother Devin, uses just this concept as its centerpiece. The video is an assembly of footage of their travels, often beautiful blue skies against a blue ocean, pivoting around the image of a large ship halfway submerged in water.
The powerful imagery of a large, beautiful and damaged ship leads the mind to wander to all the possible scenarios which could have led it to be stuck there. Lake and his family crew came across the unfortunate traveler while cruising the remote Southwest coast of Cuba in the remote diving spot, Maria La Gorda.
Lake and his brother met the man who was shipwrecked there and describe him as essentially being “trapped in paradise” with the government holding his boat for ransom while he waited for answers.
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Though Lake and his wife are currently holding it down in Guatemala, they had originally planned to return to the United States to promote Forces Of Nature this fall. The album will still be released in October and will be available for pre-order, but due to COVID-19, touring has been put to a halt.
In these uncertain times, Lake is grateful for the support of Splice Records and his friend and owner of Splice, Shaun Brennan. The two met through Lake’s wife and share a deep connection.
“We’ve been wanting to work together for a long time. I don’t want to say the timing wasn’t right before, I want to say that the timing is right right now,” says Lake.
“I think he understands what I’m driven by. He understands where I’m at in life and we are all sort of a big family. Everything that we’ve done in the past few years, I think he thinks it means that I have more to offer rather than less.”