Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Pale Lights - Seance For Something

One of my top discoveries of 2014 was Brooklyn's Pale Lights, and their LP from that year, Before There Were Pictures, was on of my top thirty albums of 2014 (link).  What makes that band so special?  In my view they craft perfect guitar pop/jangle pop that touch on the best influences without mere imitation.  The hooks are plentiful, the vocals robust and the sound has the polish of the guitar pop bands whose work lingers longest in the memory of fans, such as Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, The Go-Betweens and Orange Juice.    And with that background, I'm happy to report that the band is preparing a new album, and even happier that because they know how impatient we are, they have released a four-song EP to keep us satisfied until the LP is ready.

Titled Seance For Something, the record has four varied pop gems that demonstrate the crew's mastery of guitar pop.  The opening "Mother Cries" evokes The Bats and Rattlesnakes-era Lloyd Cole, in the latter instance due in no small part to frontman and songwriter Phil Sutton's vocal similarities to Mr. Cole.  I think it is the best song on the EP, but the points are close on my scorecard.  The following "Girl In The Park" and "Alone In This Room" bring to mind the heart-tugging and bittersweet gems from The Go-Betweens and The Lucksmiths.  The EP closes with "Sweetheart", which sounds like The Bats with an added element of '60s California country rock.  The songs are substantial and varied, and show Pale Lights to be one of the top level guitar pop bands on the scene.

The band are Philip Sutton (vocals/guitar), Andy Adler (lead guitar), Maria Pace (bass), and Lisa Goldstein (drums).  In addition, Kyle Foster played keys and sax, Suzanne Nienaber provided harmonies, Hamish Kilgour hit the tambourine on the opening track and recording engineer Gary Olson provided piano on that same song.  Seance For Something is out now via Calico Cat Records.  See the Bandcamp link below for details, but I'll note that at $3, the digital is a bargain.

Soundcloud for Seance For Something
Bandcamp for Seance For Something

1 comment:

Jeff said...

So much Flying Nun here. Fun live band too.