Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hello Memory | Little Daylight


Recently in the large bustling city of the American music industry, electronic dance bangers and hip-hop beats have been overpowering all other influences on pop radio, towering over the Billboard Hot 100 like skyscrapers and strangely leaving no room for other genres to break through. But in the past few years, bands and artists like Lana Del Rey, Chvrches, Charli XCX, Haim, and Broods have been rising from the cracks in the sidewalk and reestablishing an underground following for genres like alternative rock, indie pop, and electropop.

Another new act is in town now to join the list of those who already have a foot in the door, and they go by the name of Little Daylight. The Brooklyn, New York-based trio released an extended play last year after being signed to Capitol Records, and are now geared to release their full-length debut album Hello Memory, an effort that brings the best of alternative rock and synthpop, and smashes them together into a unique, cohesive sound.


"My Life" opens the curtain on Hello Memory with auto-tuned harmonies before quickly spiraling into some spiked synths and bratty shouts of "It's my life!" Arguably the band's most publicized track from their Tunnel Vision extended play, "Overdose," also makes an appearance on Hello Memory. The song is one of the most infectious from the album, with a driving drum beat and a systematic synth line, which is often doubled with matching chants of "oh, oh, oh." That "oh, oh, oh" chain isn't let go for the following track, "Siren Call," which includes lonely, reverberated vocals and a seemingly-intricate breakdown after each chorus, complete with constantly-popping little synths.

"Love Stories" finds lead singer Nikki Taylor using a cutesy but smooth vocal delivery. The track technically acts as a ballad, but slowly unravels at it progresses, leaving a nice instrumental break to carry the ending of the song. An indie rock-inspired track, "Mona Lisa," had me surprised at the slight change in sound, but pleasantly so. The murky, dark "Be Long" brings us back to electro-ballad territory before "Nothing to Lose" swings us into another indie rock throwback. A driving track titled "No One Else But You" throws a few synths over another indie rock track to create a nice mixture of both sounds found on this album.

Remember that Haim reference I made? The track on this album, "Runaround" sounds like an expanded sound of the trio of alt-rock sisters; the heavy reliance on guitars, overall light sound, and irresistable chorus are all there. Sadly, the album ends with only ten songs in the tracklisting and "Never Go Back" drives the record home with pounding synths and drums. The track gleams as one of my favorites from the band thus far; in fact, the album closes with one of its highest points.


When I had my first listen to Little Daylight as I was fumbling through Sirius XM stations and stopped to listen when "Overdose" was being broadcasted, I was expecting to go home and search Google for a synthpop band, and initially that's what I found. Almost all of the sources assured me that Hello Memory would be a synthpop record I would never forget. Instead, what I found while listening to the album is that it definitely is unforgettable; not for being a synthpop record, but instead for being a distinctive record. Every band finds its own niche within its respective genre, but for Little Daylight, their niche is taking those genres and making something completely new.

Hello Memory will be released on July 15 under Capitol Records.

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