Lake Lady a Genuine Performer

A small production can be trounced by a big voice, as Oakland’s Lake Lady so skillfully demonstrates.

Charise Sowells, performing under the appropriately mysterious-sounding “Lake Lady,” creates something of hip-hop, R&b, and old jazzy big band sounds into a grand musical conglomeration. There’s no better way to demonstrate it than in her March 2016 release of the EP Better Day, with Sowells’ voice crooning smoothly over a grand mix of instrumentals that range from a 1950’s soiree to a spacey trip hop house mix. It’s an EP full of character and polish, despite the production not sounding tight even for indie record standards, but with songs such as “Better Day,” one that doesn’t sound all that out of place from a soft rock or top 40 radio playlist, Lake Lady clearly has an idea where her music can take her.

To say Lake Lady is an intriguing artist is an understatement, as this isn’t simply a woman with crisp vocals singing over great instrumentals. It’s not just that she’s trying to channel something soulful, she clearly already is something soulful, and you get the feel that rather than attempting to follow in the footsteps of any great R&B diva that comes immediately to mind, she is cutting her own path. We should very much be paying attention to Sowells, as it seems just one song may be enough to vault her into some serious mainstream attention. There’s enough pure energy here that it would be an absolute shame to not see Lake Lady achieve more success and acclaim.



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