Pale Lights make decent NZ influenced indie rock and if it sounds just a bit like the Clean then that's because it's Hamish Kilgour rattling the tambourine. These also include members of Crystal Stilts and the Great Lakes. This four track CD EP is ahead of a forthcoming full length LP later in the year.
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- Séance For Something by Pale Lights
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The big twee pop secret in this here record is that Hamish Kilgour plays the tambourine on it, which is a nice little thing. It’s sort of like when a big-deal footballer retires in their heart but carries on playing for the Wisconsin Waterboys or whatever, waving to the fans and keeping morale up in an otherwise futile exercise. At this point I’m doing Pale Lights a big disservice, considering their band is a sort of low-key supergroup involving members of Crystal Stilts and the Great Lights. Overall, they make quietly bubbling tunes, sounding like a wide-eyed New Zealand band giving a 100% go of sincerity.
It’s all very clean: the rhythm section plods along knowing that the crystalline guitar lines and kindly vocals a la Pete Astor are what make this record enjoyable, giving the record an overall half-pace jangle. The harmonies between frontman Philip Sutton and singing helper-outer Suzanne Nienaber on “Girl In The Park” are delightfully ramshackle despite being nothing of the sort, the dual vocals combining as if they were merely running concurrently.
“Alone In This Room” is your highlight, a plainspoken story like one of Kozelek's that fortunately takes time out of its narrative to comment on the love and the loss: “I cried when you gave me the news, put down the phone and began my suffering / like you I’ve been burned before”. Though there’s a vagueness to these songs -- between their basic chord structures and fairly standard hooks, it makes sense the record is called 'Seance For Something' -- there’s also an irresistible warmth. It’s a record made personable by its delivery and warm by its bass lines, and that’s really all I ever want out of a twee pop record. Cherish the finer things.
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