Lightning Bug: A Colour Of The Sky
(Fat Possum Records)
Released June 25th
A rainbow adorns the artwork of A Colour Of The Sky, the second album from dreamlike shoegazers Lightning Bug, a multi-textured sunrise forming a pallet around the spectrum.
Even this and the album title give us a kind of instant idea about the textural, sensual world of Lightning Bug – it’s not “the” colour of the sky, it’s “a” colour of the sky. It’s not merely blue, it’s a myriad created by the rainbow, which in itself is an emblem of optimism. Lightning Bug’s music is similarly textural, a sea of sensory waves. Opening with The Return, a hypnotic dream in which Audrey Kang’s vocals evoke the likes of Vashti Bunyan over a looping hypnotic meadow of sound. This vein continues throughout the album, but (like the best dream pop acts) this somnambulism is far from wishy-washiness. In fact, Lightning Bug sound more complete than ever, having recently fleshed out from a trio to a five-piece.
Recent release September Song is a perfect crystallisation, while the new release they opted for to announce the album, The Right Thing Is Hard To Do, twists traditional sounds into their own soundscape, layered over with thoughtful, considered lyrics. Kang says in writing it she wants “to connect how the struggles and flaws of the individual are mirrored in the greater problems in society. How do we, as a society, as a species, know we are on the right path?” She navigates this by starting with her own struggles and vulnerability and connecting them to the wider world (borders, xenophobia, the environment.) This attitude to writing lyrics is in some way reflected in the songs themselves. Kang’s structures are the very heart of them, but they sprawl into a team effort; the blood driven by the beat of Kang’s craft. Each song is a small odyssey in itself
The gorgeously delicate Wings Of Desire has all the angelic beauty of the Wim Wenders film it shares its title with; Song Of The Bell broods and encompasses like a stared-down corridor, whilst the title track blends the absorbing with the fragile in a truly intimate fashion. Ending with the gorgeous, string-laden The Flash, a highlight of the whole album saved from closing it like a slow-burning sunset, A Colour Of The Sky is a real waking dream of a record.
Lightning Bug are on Bandcamp, Facebook and Instagram.
All words by Amy Britton. Find more on her archive.