Album Review

Parallels EP

Parallels EP

By Black City Lights

Stars & Letters
8.5 / 10
3rd May 2012

By Brannavan Gnanalingam


A small taste of Black City Lights’ latest work simply whets the appetite for something bigger from them. The EP is composed of pop songs that fight against relentless loops, an almost kind of urban darkness in the arrangements, and overall bleakness. The soulful singing manages to elevate the music into something that feels much more emotionally engaging and raw.

Opening track ‘Parallels’ features doo-wop harmonies and moody rhythms – a tension that flows through the rest of the album. The music seemingly mixes elements from a number of genres – industrial, Italo-disco, trip-hop, ambient, soul – but does so in such a seamless way. ‘Rivers’ is wonderful; a pop song that bubbles up, and then explodes in the chorus from underneath the chatter. ‘Get Away’ builds up – perhaps not to completely carthatic effect, but fascinatingly nonetheless. ‘Collapsing Horizon’ is another great song, meandering and dreamy. ‘Same’ is uncompromising and punchy, while ‘Colour’ closes with a kind of Silent Shout Knife vibe.

It’s perhaps a little samey at points – but it’s an overall excellent EP. The great pop ideas and skillful arrangements complement the band’s vision, and the EP gives a compelling reason to search out for future work by Black City Lights.


Sky Ship (feat. Richard Larsen)
Sky Ship (feat. Richard Larsen), by Black City Lights
From: Unreleased, (2011)
http://www.undertheradar.co.nz/utr/review/CID/673/N/Parallels-EP.utr




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