Lights & Motion


Written by: LF on 16/01/2015 23:27:56

In 2013, post-rock act Lights & Motion exploded onto the scene with two entire full-length releases in the same year, one in January and the second in November. The man behind the project is the Swedish multi-instrumentalist and composer Christoffer Franzén who plays every instrument on his recordings and also produces, records and mixes them himself. An insomniac, he explained that the reason for following up on his debut so quickly was that he just couldn't stop writing new music, trying to communicate to others his dreamlike state of consciousness. With the release of "Chronicle" as his third album, he continues his grandiose style of cinematic, mostly instrumental music but also tries out some new territory.

Many of the songs on "Chronicle" are piano-based, and tightly-knit, ambient backgrounds - filled with string arrangements, lush synthesizers, and dreamy guitars - shine through in all of them. They seem to largely follow the same formula of slowly building up to a long climax before toning down again for a quiet ending before the next song. As such, the album ebbs and flows continually in a meditative way that makes it easy for the listeners to let themselves be entirely consumed in this veritable ocean of grandiose, daydream-inducing sounds. Lights & Motion have made some of the most euphoric tunes I can remember ever hearing and songs like the twinkly and fluttering single "Fireflies" or "Particle Storm", my favorite, only further confirm this. "Particle Storm" might just be the most recognizable song of the entire album with its sparkling, introductive glockenspiel notes and the uplifting riff that binds everything together on top of pounding drums. The euphoria reaches new heights here as the song builds up not only once but twice over a calm and soothing middle section in much the same way as "Fireflies" but with a more clearly-cut main melody.

However, what "Chronicle" also has, is a certain edge that shows especially in a darker song like "Reborn". The song makes more distinct use of guitars and distortion than most of the others, to build a tune so towering and subtly ominous that it seems like nothing less than the sound of frightening inevitability itself. There are also some very ambient tracks on the album like "Glow" which reminds me especially of ambient artist Eluvium, or the magnificent "The Spectacular Quiet" that ends the album on a slow and majestic note that paradoxically communicates ultimate tranquility through incredible loudness.

These elements show us some development in Lights & Motion's world of sounds, and this expansion certainly only makes the band that more appealing. For some the very powerful cinematic qualities of this music will definitely be too much, not least when presented in such a compact way as on this 36-minute album that builds and collapses every climax fairly quickly only to repeat it over again. Still, there's a depth to the music, due to its crossing of cinematic elements with post-rock, that can't be found on many movie soundtracks and that makes it an interesting listen.

Download: Particle Storm, Fireflies, Reborn
For The Fans Of: Hans Zimmer, U137, Moonlit Sailor, M83, Eluvium

Release date 13.01.2015
Deep Elm Records

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