Roll Up, Roll Up It’s Lake & Lyndale ‘Circus’

A breakup becomes an outrageous Circus in Lake & Lyndale’s roots-country banger.

Lake & Lyndale – Circus

I’ve never really liked circuses (I’ll confess that clowns give me the creeps) but I’ll make an allowance for them when they serve as a useful lyrical metaphor. But Lake & Lyndale’s ‘Circus’ isn’t exactly the type you’d bring your whole family to, it’s more the ‘terrible fires and animals running wild’ kind. Which is perfect for a country breakup song, really.

Lake & Lyndale are a Minneapolis-formed, Nashville-based 4 piece that describes themselves as part roots rock and part country soul. With a couple of EPs under their belts and some promising media features, the group show no signs of slowing down.

‘Circus’ is a burn-it-all-down breakup song with an irresistible rock-country soul.

The lyrics milk every possible angle of the title, which I for one massively enjoyed. ‘The clowns are all laughing like they already know’ sets the scene for this expired relationship, sarcastically pointing out that ‘the tickets ain’t selling, it ain’t what it used to be’, with the chorus concluding that thankfully ‘this ain’t my circus anymore’. These are all delivered in lead singer Channing Marie’s twanging vocals with a distinct vibrato, and there’s even a matching music video complete with ring-top garb, carnival lights and animal onesies, which looks like a lot of fun. 

The band back her up admirably, with a tambourine and quavering keys lending a hint of Gospel to the proceedings, but remaining firmly anchored in a stomping bluesy groove. Standard country harmonies are maintained, until a chromatic middle section which takes us briefly to a nightmare carnival, and then the whole track slows down into a late-night jam session instrumental outro. An unexpected turn, but a welcome show of musicianship. Any country fans should get right on board. 

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Words Eden Tredwell