New Zealand songwriter Aldous Harding’s sophomore album “Party” is punchier and even more haunting than her more folk-influenced debut.
The Portland-based post-rock outfit WL create moods more than anything else. The music on Light Years offers explorations of the human condition, traversing territories between sorrow and serenity. The record is at its best when the serene parts are solemn and when the sorrow is uplifting.
“Feeling Down” is perhaps the catchiest track on the album, and frontwoman Misty Mary drones and repeats the phrase “I feel down.” The simplicity in the lyrics is used to convey, more than anything else, emotion. This isn’t an intricate insight into the specifics that cause the mood, more an implicated directive to explore the condition only. What does it mean to feel down? That’s the important part.
The sounds themselves can be ghastly and dissonant, with light, scarce vocals featured across the record. Keys are prominent throughout, with “Disintegrate” offering up perhaps my favorite key section on the record. “Mercury” is home to an incredible drum and guitar loop that fades into the back to make room for an obfuscating saxophone part, which provides the only break from the monotony on the track. It feels both jarring and familiar.
WL work wonders in not conforming to post-rock norms on Light Years, and what could be forgettable soundscapes are made memorable through the brief breaks in the droning, offering these bright glimpses into the moods created on each track.»
– Tyler Sanford