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Peaking Lights – 936
Label: Not Not Fun (US – NNF217), Weird World (UK – WERD009CD/LP)
Format – CD, LP
Country – US
Released – 2011
Genre – Electronic, Lo-Fi, Synth, Dub
Every now and again I stumble across an album that makes me sit up and take notice. Something a bit different from the norm, not music I would usually consider listening to. This is one of those albums. Originally it popped up as a recommendation on Boomkat (my own personal online
crack music dealer of choice, YMMV), and I was intrigued by the cover of the CD as well as the name of the band.
My first listen was overwhelmingly positive – catchy synth melodies that hooked into my brain, some interesting drum work and some breathy, slightly distant female vocals that I always seem to have a soft spot for. The lyrics are fairly nonsensical for the most part, but as my musical tastes generally gravitate more towards the melody than the words (Cocteau Twins, Sigur Ros for example) this didn’t worry me particularly.
Most of the drum rhythms used on the album are fairly insistent, driving each track forward (Birds of Paradise, and the amazing Tiger Eyes), there is the occasional instrumental such as the opening track Synthy, but generally we are treated to some far-out vocals and a kind of dreamy, laid-back feel. I would say that there are some definite 60s influences here, the overall tone of the album is flighty, almost hippy-ish with a kind of childlike innocence.
Tiger Eyes is definitely the standout track on the album for me, but there are other highlights. All the sun that shines is another quality, catchy number whilst Summertime ends the album on a slower, more wistful note. Key Sparrow is a short little number which meanders along innocently enough until the abrupt “fuck you” which jolts you out of your reverie near the end.
Overall this is an album I can listen to over and over, it’s not demanding of the listener but the melodies are complex enough that they reward you for paying attention. I have yet to buy the follow up album (2012’s Lucifer) but it is definitely on my list after the strength of the tunes on this effort.
Well done Peaking Lights!
Discuss the review here.
I knew nothing of this artist before this arrived for review, just a vague feeling I had listened to something by him on Spotify once.