This is the first single from Brooklyn's own Quiet Lights and it's a hell of an epic single. Two A-Sides that need to be experienced with as much range as possible on those big speakers you found in the garage. They spent a lot of time on this, the least you could do is respect the effort with a decent turntable for gods sake. No son of mine is going to listen to this on those pathetic computer speakers, I don't care if they're external!
The A-Side 'No more canyons' starts with slowly strummed just barely reverb guitar, saving the punch for about 40 seconds in which will make you jump. The bass rhythms, along with a steady tom creates a nice metronome drone underneath until it goes a step higher with the next plateau of sound. They get every bit epic as Mogwai, shoegaze doesn't describe the rocking waves of sound, the massive highs and lows here... and the crystal clear statement they're making. Shoegaze for me usually sounds like throwing all the sounds on top of each other with uncontrollable effects and those happy accidents that happen afterwords from trying to pick it apart the weird harmonics take come to the surface. It's almost completely subjective, varying with the listener.
Quiet Lights sound anything but accidental, there's no sign of that chaos, only skillful execution, everything is separated and recorded perfectly. Huge room drums, layered echo vocals getting lost in creating this massive distance, the track is bigger than anything. A violin even creeps in for the second chorus, expertly mixed in, that high single voice echoing her vocals and somehow adding to this metal, Red Sparrowes wave of sound that they deliver multiple times in a single track.
The B-Side, 'Break trouble wait' begins with a tom rhythm, restrained guitar melodies at first, like the Big Sleep, tension is another instrument. The slow vocal melody is so memorable and unlike any other direction of the song. The bass this time is working twice as hard as anything else, pushing the track faster than the deceptive BPM. When the guitar turns distorted, and the haunting vocal starts to quiet down - get ready, this thing impossibly gets even bigger than the A side, the combination of that massive space sound... where everything is far away, the spectacle of an entire arena is then reduced to just nothing.
They make even robots feel.
It almost does them a disservice to lump them in with shoegaze, there's far more subtlety and sheer power here that puts it in the more recent era of bands like Mono or Boris who are trying to physically overpower you. They aren't looking at their feet, they're trying to hold on. Seriously pushing the limits of that quiet/loud forumla to a new place that works so damn well. Overwhelming.... an extremely talented band who couldn't possibly have anything left for a full length after this.
I have to catch this live April 1st at Cameo gallery, which will be in serious danger of collapse.
This was made for epic landscapes and edges of cliffs in thunderstorms.
I would love to see battle of the bands scene in Scott Pilgrim with Quiet Lights and The Big Sleep, Brooklyn will break.
Get it from Old Flame Records who possibly has some of that blue vinyl left:
Recorded in June of '10 with Jason LaFarge (SWANS) at Seizure's Palace and mixed with John Congleton (Clinic, The Walkmen), The Big Fear shows Quiet Lights at their most vulnerable and ambitious.
No More Canyons leaps and swells with longing.
Available for streaming Jan 20th and purchase/vinyl on Feb 15th. Look for The Big Fear to be released spring 2011.