The Clouded Lights are an alternative rock/brit-pop band located out of West Yorkshire, and they have recently come out with a rather enjoyable EP titled Stranded On the Path. Throughout the short collection of music, the band showcases their ability to cohesively navigate through a couple of different genres, offering their listeners a coherent yet diverse taste of what they can do. Hints of the Smiths, Bloc Party, and even some Joy Division can be found within Stranded On the Path, so if jangly, high-energy alternative rock is your sort of thing, you should check it out.
Although the lyrical content was not filled with the most positive subjects I have heard (though they are quite apt), I would describe the tone of most of the music as pretty upbeat and fun. Most of these songs have pretty straightforward formats that tend to have carved out sections within them that allow for the instrumentation, particular the lead guitar, to sort of run away and do its own thing.
While on that note, I think the guitar work on this album is really nice, and I really enjoyed how the guitar was simultaneously perpetually prominent and positioned in the front of the music, and how the tone of the instrument remained relatively clean. This intricate balance allowed for the guitar to sort of act as the vocalist’s counter, consistently playing what sound to me like countermelodies. On the other hand, I think the vocalist does a nice job of picking out vocal lines which tend to piece the music together. The Clouded Lights possess a cohesive sound, and it is nice to hear the music come together.
One of my few problems with the record is that I feel that some of the tempos sound a bit too fast— for example, the first track on the EP, titled “Borrowed Hearts” is extremely catchy, however at times it sounded a bit rushed and like everyone was trying to catch up with one another. Despite this, I think the song sounds good and is well put together.
Production wise, the sound itself is pretty spectacular. The mixes all sit together nicely, the instruments sound good, and I think the production is what allowed the songs to come together as well as they did.
I also really like how much energy the band carries with them in these songs. It sounds like they are having fun playing together and that they genuine care about the music they are expressing, and that always reflects really well in the recordings. In my eyes, this is a strong record both in terms of songwriting and production, and I hope the band sees success with it. I look forward to hearing what The Clouded Lights do in the future.
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