Published Oct 02, 2019In 2007, Amber Webber and Joshua Wells of Black Mountain decided to try something new: render their band's old-school psychedelia into something less rugged and more soft-spoken, under the new name Lightning Dust. Twelve years and three albums later, Lightning Dust add a heartfelt and introspective album with Spectre, blending soft alt-rock with electronic ambience to explore deep-seated emotional concerns.
The album kicks off by contrasting dread and perseverance with the recently released single "Devoted To," where Amber Webber brazenly chants "And I will find my way back in, even if I'll never sleep" over gloomy acoustics and an extraterrestrial synth loop.
Although this first track details the struggles of carrying forward in a perilous world, Spectre has a tendency to look inward when dealing with problems. "When It Rains" is a great example of Webber's lyrical ability to relate to her audience and encourage them to face their demons, as she begins by addressing the emotional baggage of listeners directly, building up to the simple but poignant lines of the chorus: "When it rains, let it rain down hard."
After the upbeat note of "When It Rains," Spectre continues with the spectacular — albeit somewhat melodramatic — songs "Joanna" and "More," which feature Webber in a lucid but languorous mindset, as her voice echoes over subtle violins and delicate piano keys. "A Pretty Picture" comes next as a pleasant change of pace, having an air of hopefulness and addictive catchiness that one might wish were present throughout the more morose moments on Spectre.
Either way, the Vancouver duo's captivating moments easily outnumber the few duller ones. On Lightning Dust's fourth studio album, Amber Webber's beautifully haunting voice brings hope to dark places, and following it feels like being guided to the light at the end of the tunnel. (Western Vinyl)