Light Pollution - Light Pollution
In the vein of Midwest post-indie folk groups, or rural musical collectives, Light Pollution is a welcome beacon in our coast-less sound scape. Melancholy but vibrant, exuberant without being lighthearted and legitimately captivating whilst dodging contrition and pretentiousness, this Chicago four-to-five piece hits like a major indie label heavyweight.
Despite transitioning band members and the death of their electric organ (as documented in the music video for “Firewood”), the band has maintained show dates and managed to put out a white-vinyl-and -download-only self-titled EP. Singer, guitarist, pianist, whatever-ist Jim Cicero is blunt about the band’s single-minded future, “Making the new record perfect [is the most important thing].”
The music is as smooth as sailing in a row boat with a choppy wind. The movement is rolling with the punctuation and sweet feel of lake spray against your exposed skin. With the horns and strings, the music swells in front of a steady bass drum and full guitar strumming with accentuating pops and rolls from the snares and cymbals. There are more layers than the band has musicians. The sound is robust, inviting and engaging.
As odd as it is sensible, Light Pollution owes a lot of its sound to 90’s post-hardcore groups like Rival Schools and Glassjaw, especially in the rhythm section. The odd hits and fills harken to a rawer time in underground music and the vocals harken that way as well. Cicero sounds like he’s indifferent to singing, but like it’s something deeper that he can’t control that’s driving him and coming out through his throat.
“These songs have more string and horn arrangements,” Cicero says about the EP, “and by recording on our own terms we allowed ourselves to experiment more, incorporating found sounds, dissonant piano rolls; noise in general.” Whatever you can find in any of their songs, it always has the building quality of a ghost howling behind you, chasing you up a flight of stairs that’s really a cliff - and that’s a good thing.
Light Pollution Online