Monday 21 July 2014

Space Daze - Follow My Light Back Home

Album review by KevW

"And a light shines down, through your window...". Yes, if the lens flare of the artwork or the name of the album didn't give it away, 'Follow My Light Back Home' is an album released in summer, because it was seemingly made purely with summer in mind, and that line from the title-track is just one of many seasonal references that Space Daze makes on this set of upbeat, spangly, sunny guitar-pop tunes. Sprightly recent single 'Line Up On The Solstice' may have also given the game away. You could just about stop short of calling this a concept album, because Danny Rowland (also the guitarist and songwriter with excellent indiepoppers Seapony) is hardly the first to try and capture this time of year on record.

He does make an especially good job of it though, realising the power of the sub three-minute pop song (nothing here breaks that barrier) and also knowing that such tracks rely heavily on tunefulness to make them work. The album opens with 'Woke Up In The Summer', which just about says it all. It's a mixture of The Byrds, The Mamas and the Papas, The Hollies and a smidgen of doo-wop all formed into a more modern, lazy (in a good way) indie sound. It's not a case of eleven repeats of the same trick though, as 'The Voices Of Strangers' is darker and folkier; almost psychedelic even, but still warm, and 'I'll Know Tomorrow' also takes a folk-inspired approach, recalling Simon & Garfunkel, as does 'Kill Me'. We touch upon the lighter end of '90s alt-rock with 'It's Getting Lighter Earlier', a track that partially discards the '60s influence for something slightly more modern, but the guitars and melodies still make it shine.

Making an album where just about every track could be considered for a single is no mean feat, but it's one that Space Daze manages, and even though the songs are short, it still seems to end far too soon, which leaves you wanting more. Without the spidery guitar lines, 'It Becomes Silent' would be pure dreampop, and 'Going Out' would have registered favourably when the Britpop pack began to delve deeper into the past; the mixture of organ and a memorable tune ensures this. Maybe 'Having A Bad Time' is closest to the indiepop you may expect, yet its duration of under two-minutes means usage of the repeat button may be in order. 'Close The Curtain' takes in a little powerpop but its still mostly soft textures despite a crisper guitar sound. It's somehow fitting that the more thoughtful and dreamy 'The Fireflies Are Gone' wraps things up.There will be countless soundtracks to the summer, and these will vary depending on taste and circumstance, but many people should give Space Daze a go because might find exactly what they've been looking for.

Space Daze's website

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