Pop-Folk band LASKA have released their acclaimed sophomore album, Endless Patcher. The new collection of songs hits the sweet spot that sits between folk-influenced pop and rock.
The new music on Endless Patcher is both mystical and grounded in the everyday experiences of what we are hoping for the future. The collection of songs is composed of ten evocative original songs performed with layers of instrumentation and the Morton sisters rich harmonies.
What you hear on the new album isn’t really a patchwork, as the album’s evocative title might lead you to believe. It’s an album that addresses the density of lived experience, and it’s very American – in the best sense of that term. If a record can be both mystical and grounded in the everyday, Endless Patcher fits the bill. The core of LASKA is the sister trio of Mookie, Bex and Hannah Morton, who harmonize in the sort of unity that only siblings can achieve. It’s an album of poetic truths that have been honed by the focus and musicianship of trained players, and what LASKA does with the very idea of song form and pop structure marks them as true innovators.
It’s a seamless record that is part dreamscape, but the pleasures of Endless Patcher feel earned. There’s introspection and propulsion, as you hear on “Dog Bite,” an instant classic of inspired harmonic language and rhythmic drive. In fact, “Dog Bite” sounds like the kind of pop addiction you can live with, as does “Pull,” the latter anchored by pedal steel and another evocation of Joni, Judee, John Phillips and similar masters of sunny pop.
These days, the world being the complex place it is, the Morton sisters reside in two very distinct places in the United States. When you hear how deftly they use elements of what’s sometimes called Laurel Canyon pop – the sort of music pioneered in the late ‘60s by folk-adjacent singers and songwriters like John Phillips, the leader of the Mamas & the Papas, and Joni Mitchell, along with Judee Sill and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – you understand how geography and music intertwine. Endless Patcher is about the possibilities that lie underneath the quotidian, and it’s also about space, time and memory.
On a more practical level, Mookie and Bex live in Los Angeles, while Hannah makes her home in Minneapolis. You hear the creative tension between the Midwest and Los Angeles throughout Endless Patcher, and it’s clear that Mookie and Bex were seeking, in their own ways, the allure of California when they moved to Los Angeles. As Bex says, “I moved back to Los Angeles in 2020. I was writing in a garage for a while. It was the start of something that was my own – I found my style in that space, what feels good to play. Los Angeles is both the ugliest and most beautiful place to be an artist. Each day in the city is so full and saturated.”
Meanwhile, Mookie says about her move to Los Angeles, also in 2020: “My year has been, in theme with this album, taking it easy, healing old wounds, and trying to get to the bottom of how to get the most out of life.” For Hannah, the move has been the impetus to refine the synergy that already existed among her and her sisters. As she says, “I feel like the driving force behind this is the desire to connect with people, and the hope to create beautiful things that will encourage people to feel things with me. When sisters moved across the country, I feel like it kind of gave us each the space to not only step into our own solo musical ventures, but also to grow into ourselves as people, motivators, creators, and business partners.”
It’s been a journey of discovery since they began playing Monday night shows in Minneapolis, and Endless Patcher is the culmination of their work ethic and finely honed aesthetic. That aesthetic was clearly defined on their first album, 2017’s Ceiling Zero – listen to “Parking Lot,” a beautiful slice of post-Laurel Canyon pop, with the kind of chord changes that make you sit up and notice. Their immaculately tailored approach to songwriting and production shines through Endless Patcher. The first single from the album, “Funhouse” is sleek, gleaming post-rock, with sophisticated chord changes that communicate both tension and release.
Fronted by three sisters who write beautifully self-aware and earnest songs, Hannah, Mookie, and Bex Morton are the foundation of LASKA. The melancholy, harmony-driven sound draws from the midwestern heartland just as much as the LA coast, and continues to evolve as their landscape changes. All three sisters contribute to the writing and have a way of leaving you at the beck and call of a song’s emotional territory. Haunting, reflective, and lovely. Their live sound blends rugged guitar, synthesizers, and pedal affected violins, bringing listeners from song-in-your-bedroom intimacy to vast moments in sonic canyons. The Mortons play alongside Evan Middlesworth (producer and guitar) and Robbie Weisshaar (bass).
The songs of Endless Patcher address the density of lived experience, and the complexities of life as we now know it.” – Music Mecca
“Because the band writes about the way the push-and-pull of everyday life can inspire rich art, LASKA achieves a truly syncretic style on Endless Patcher. They draw from the, sleek, slightly abstract post-rock of bands like The Sea and Cake, which means every guitar lick and melodic turn is cunningly integrated into songs that are both formally satisfying and full of ruminations on human nature.” – PopMatters