Artist Spotlight

Review: Color of Light, “Memory”

No Comments 11 January 2015

Review: Color of Light, “Memory”

“This album is best served in one long dose; a full listen reveals a great deal of sophisticated nuance and an interconnectivity that would potentially be lost listening to one track at a time. Neuse is working in a soundscape of his own creation, one that values the instrumentation, melody and breadth of sound…”

Artist: Color of Light

Album: Memory

Genre: Shoegaze / Dream Pop

RIYL: My Bloody Valentine, Altered States, The Jesus and Mary Chain

Color of Light Memory

When I think South Carolina-born artists, I don’t necessarily go straight to ambient dream pop; roots rock, sure. But while the dark, lush soundscapes may remind a bit of the wilder, untamed spots of the Low Country, Color of Light’s Sean Neuse is creating a place for himself in time and space that reaches much further out than the water’s edge. Memory is an interesting and hypnotic collection of songs that teems with life and natural rhythm.

This hasn’t always been my genre of choice as a fan; but I must be softening to it because I was transfixed at several points while listening to Memory. There is something almost meditative in the song structures and tone. Neuse’s vocals are used just as the other instruments, as a medium for sound rather than a vessel for spoken lyrics. But that doesn’t detract from the overall lyricism present; in fact, it enhances a sumptuous and warm, hazy style.

“Window” is a highlight, there’s a hopefulness hidden in the spaces between the notes and Neuse’s vocals that’s incredibly appealing. The ebb and flow of this track just feels right on the money, a perfect blend of soft edges that moves really beautifully. Using that term - “ebb and flow” - seems even more appropriate when paired with “Dying,” a sparse but effective instrumental that samples the surf. The title track and “Fading” also put a strong foot forward. But it’s difficult to choose highlights from an album of this style as each track fades and weaves into the next.

This album is best served in one long dose; a full listen reveals a great deal of sophisticated nuance and an interconnectivity that would potentially be lost listening to one track at a time. Neuse is working in a soundscape of his own creation, one that values the instrumentation, melody and breadth of sound more than lyrical content; and it’s an interesting choice in a business full of two-minute, bite-sized, easily digestible verse-chorus-verse tunes. Memory is, without question, a unique and pleasing record that sits right in the pocket and provides a different kind of listening experience for the senses.

Color of Light website: http://www.imerarecords.com/

 

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