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Lights & Motion

Dear Avalanche

Written by: LF on 27/01/2017 18:01:00

It's been two years almost to the date since the release of the last Lights & Motion album, "Chronicle", which also came out in the cold month of January - a time very fitting for the soothing and uplifting mood you always find on a Lights & Motion record. "Dear Avalanche" is the fourth full-length overall by the Swedish multi-instrumentalist and composer Christoffer Franzén who is the man behind the name and who plays all the instruments himself.

His cinematic, instrumental music is as dreamlike and emotional as ever but compared to his previous and very concise record, this one has five more tracks and it comes a lot closer to wearing its listener out in the process. Half of the tracks here clock in at below or just around three minutes and they are also typically the ones on the album that feel either unresolved or directionless. "Everest" with its steadfast beat and the twinkly melody is an exception but it doesn't manage to stand out much in the scope of the whole record where the tone is just very much the same throughout.

The single "Silver Lining" is one of the better examples of this general sound, with its very straight build-up of string-like arrangements and piano as well as the use of choir-like vocals that hum extra layers in the melody. Another song that stands out when you give yourself time to really explore the album is "Lucid Dreaming" that swells into a big soft shape of wonder that is easily connected to the experience of its title.

As on the previous album, this ethereal sound is disturbed from time to time, not least by the brilliant "Pandora" that lets the guitar take over for a longer track and gives the soundscape a different edge as it bursts through about two minutes in. "DNA" also sets in later with a real sense of direction in its slightly dark, rumbling foundation. It mellows out again very soon though and blends back into the more anonymous tone with the rest of the songs.

In general, then, the songs on this album are not very memorable on their own as they simply have a hard time standing apart. They still sound very unmistakably as Lights & Motion songs, though. They weave dreamy webs that are relaxing and immersive in their own way to listen to and the uplifting, optimistic character of the instrumental music is not presented as well by any other post-rock act I can think of. A slightly shorter album would perhaps have helped the different songs to stand out more in each their own way but that's not to say that it's not at the same time a good record to put on for some uplifting mood music.

Download: Pandora, Silver Lining, Lucid Dreaming
For The Fans Of: Hammock, Explosions In The Sky, M83, Hans Zimmer
Listen: facebook.com/lightsandmotion

Release date 20.01.2017
Deep Elm Records

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