Russell Louder Think of Light
Published Mar 10, 2017The first thing one might notice on "Another Day," the opener on Russell Louder's Think of Light EP, is the well balanced synth parts, including bubbly high-range stuff and a staccato-mid-range bass line-like part (matched by the actual bass line, which enters with punchier drums after a moment), but the most captivating element is definitely their melancholic, resonant voice. It's the secret weapon of the Prince Edward Island-based trans performance artist and musician.
It's the centerpiece, too, on "Never Lost," which opens with the evocative line, "Where did you go when you said you'd be home, did you wander?" It cuts straight to the heart, then pauses for a moment of reflection. The disarmingly sweet synth melody will hit similar emotional notes to the Postal Service for some listeners, but then a fatter bass part gives the feeling of stomping around your room in frustration.
The more upbeat "Game" conveys the ups and downs of relationships both lyrically and through its harmonic progressions. The bridge out from the first chorus (about 1:50-2:25) stays on a tense chord before releasing back into the verse-chord progression cleverly with the line, "does it feel good to push and pull?" Louder's musical arrangements quite smartly support and enhance the lyrical narrative.
The fourth and final track offers a pleasant surprise with acoustic, folky sounds and unconventional vocal harmonies that recall early Animal Collective or a less woodsy Fleet Foxes. The great thing is that Louder's voice is distinct and present enough to tie it together. It's a short tune, less than two-and-a-half minutes, but it offers an enticing glimpse of the variety this artist is capable of. (Independent)