On first listen, Balance and Composure‘s new album couldn’t sound further away from 2013’s The Things We Think We’re Missing. It first grabs you as being an 80’s tinged, complete departure from their previous album, from the synth-y New Order-esque opener, Midnight Zone, to the drum machine loops on Postcard, it doesn’t strike you straight away as being very similar to its predecessor.
When listened to again and again – and you’ll want to listen to it repeatedly – Light We Made is the band discovering exactly what they can achieve by mellowing out a little more, and experimenting with a larger sonic spectrum. This isn’t Balance and Composure with an entirely new sound, it’s them building upon what they’ve done before.
Decidedly more mellow than their debut, Separation, and with a little less of the shoegaze vibe from The Things We Think We’re Missing, this new release is the next logical step for the band. Light We Made opens strongly – the first three songs in the album are, honestly, fantastic, with an honourable mention going to Afterparty – and the album remains an interesting listen throughout.
With the strange, underwater lo-fi on For A Walk, to the 80’s Goth on Mediocre Love, the album is the band exploring every single sonic possibility that they could have; however, the album doesn’t come across as an experiment. This is a band who know exactly what they’re capable of, and are totally uncompromising in what they create.
For all of its differences to their previous two albums, songs such as Is It So Much To Adore? sounds like it wouldn’t be out of place on Things We Think We’re Missing – not quite as fuzzy and shoegaze-y as before, but with an oddly mellow yet urgent feel to it. By the time closing track Loam comes around, it’s as though there hasn’t been a dull moment on the album. With it’s effect laden vocals, gritty guitars and repetitive drums, it’s almost dystopian in its sound.
While the album is still a relatively big departure in sound to their previous albums, it’s easily their best work yet. On Light We Made, Balance and Composure are playing with a far bigger sonic scope than we’re used to hearing from them, and the results are truly brilliant to listen to.
For Fans Of: Citizen, Seahaven, Turnover
Standout Tracks: Afterparty, Mediocre Love, Is It So Much To Adore?
Written by: Emily Laws