‘Lighthouse’ is an apt title for Dublin-based quartet The Blue Choir’s EP if opening track Roots is anything to go by – starting off slowly, softly, atmospherically as if approaching the titular structure through a thick fog before the thick layers of sound and thundering drums come crashing like waves, before the storm calms as we see the light in its full effect as we draw near. The song sets the tone for the remaining four, propping up a backdrop grand enough for the band’s stadium-sized yet eclectic sound.
The EP displays the group’s keen ear for dynamics not elsewhere, too. The title track juxtaposes oscillating single-note synth patterns with lightly reverbed guitar arpeggios that allow the frontman’s soulful voice to soar above the maritime scene like a seagull before ushering in a gentle, breezy chord progression. The latter half of the EP is based around acoustic balladry (Nightmares, We’re All Awake Tonight) but backed up by flourishes of the band’s contemporary art rock/post-rock informed instrumentation and though the ideas seem at odds, a fully embellished production style manages to tie all potentially loose ends together.
While The Blue Choir could hardly be accused of reinventing the wheel – the brand of anthemic post-The Bends inspired alt-rock that they play has been popular for quite a while now – and the lyrics are at times obscured by the nonetheless attractive vocal efforts. There are enough moments of interesting musicality and glimpses of potential to get excited for what is yet to come from this band, and with all funds gathered by the sales of this pay-what-you-want release (available from the band’s Bandcamp), there’s no reason that ‘Lighthouse’ is not worthy of your financial or aural investment.