Gloriously good electropop, but there’s something missing
When you’ve got a sound like LGHTNNG have, which is one steeped in the kind of 80’s-revivalist electropop scene that has been growing over the past couple of years, it’s best to not shy away from influences and to instead wear them proudly.
Nights Change Days, the band’s debut EP, is one that wears them on the sleeve of its sound. The 80’s influences are prominent from the opening synth line, giving a kind of relaxed ambience that feels like it could easily dive into Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’. Fortunately it doesn’t and instead leads into the beat-driven Sad Humming, which sets the type of melancholy-tinged, vaguely upbeat tone of the release to follow.
This makes for twenty minutes of impressively coherent electropop. As the mid-tempo push slows to the very afterglow Loneliness, before then speeding up to the funk-twanged Sharks, it all feels like a very natural progression. The outcome is an EP that doesn’t feel forced or disjointed, instead feeling like a flawlessly executed performance setlist.
Joining the dots between this perfectly paced ordering is a cascade of synths and melodious female vocals, which mean that it’s going to be increasingly difficult for LGHTNNG to avoid CHVRCHES comparisons. If the EP proves anything, it’s that the band are just choppy vocal samples away from being a carbon copy of CHVRCHES.
But without the vocal sampling, that leaves LGHTNNG in a position where they can stand up only as a good electropop act. They’ve hit the ground running with Night Changes Days, but there’s still a lot left unexplored in their sound. Their sound is currently the fundamental sounds taken to extraordinary lengths with great results – but there’s something missing. Something that will make them more than just another electropop act.
CHVRCHES stand out because they took a good sound and did something experimentally different to it. LGHTNNG’s debut, while gloriously good, doesn’t create enough distinctions. Sharks shows that there is more to come – but for now we’ve got to wait for it.