18 Jun 2019
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Pacific Heights - Album Review: A Lost Light

13 Sep 2018 // A review by butch181

A Lost Light is the Pacific Heights album I have been intrigued about ever since I reviewing The Greystone; a single that I described as having “a relaxing, tranquil tone that makes the body want to move gracefully and simultaneously sink into a mass of blankets”. As such, The Greystone is the opening track, which leaves the remainder of the album as exciting, unknown territory.

Lost In A Dream (featuring singer songwriter Neil Macleod) takes the tranquility of The Greystone and runs with it. The vocals are minimal but gradually build throughout the song. Everything blends together; lacking clarity, everything has the softness and blurred edges of a dream, with percussive elements pitter-pattering in and out driving the song forward.

Another track that takes its time with a long building instrumental introduction, The End Is In Sight (featuring Joe Dukie of Fat Freddy’s Drop) starts to gain some clarity with visceral twanging from a guitar, and clearer vocals and drums patterns. Despite the lucidity, this does not have the features of a standalone song. Almost an interlude with lyrics; building as it leads you to Colour Of The Night. Featuring Julia Catherine Parr of Black City Lights, Colour Of The Night injects some pace and energy. Easily the highlight of the album, there is a sense of energy and rhythm that makes the body want to move, and this is backed up by the fresh female vocals that display great range and control.

Calling Home comes in with thick, thunderous cinematic tones, but the pace and energy gained in the previous track is swiftly lost, leaving you with a tingling in the limbs. The ebb from the flow, the trough of the wave.

Slowly building again, Forgotten Times (featuring Edie) takes its time with over 90 seconds of ambient build up. Taking nearly three minutes to get to the choral section, Forgotten Times has one of the more emotional if short-lived vocal performances of the release. Hauntingly iridescent melodies.

Neil Macleod returns for the nest two tracks, Frozen Tear and My Dear Love Part 1. Another minimal track instrumentally, until nearly half way through the track when it bursts into life with an upbeat drum pattern and key tones for the choral section. Such a drastic shift from verse to chorus that it catches you off guard and does take you out of the moment a bit. Finally featuring some more clear piano arrangements, My Dear Love Part 1 is the one track that doesn’t have an electronic or ambient vibe to it; a simple vocal piano piece, it forces you to focus on the vocal melodies and lyrics.

The titular track of the album, A Lost Light, features Motte and while having a mid-range runtime, feels the shortest of the lot. Perhaps due to the high pace drum beat creating a false idea of where the track begins. The album ends on My Dear Love Part 2, with little fanfare.

Overall, the album consists of nine tracks, totaling a 47-minute run-time and thus over 5 minutes each on average. This is good length to the tracks, moving outside of the formulaic structures and basic 3:30 track run times, but the energy doesn’t quite flow as well as would be hoped. The latter half of the album lacks energy, and what parts do have pace and passion, conflict with the rest of the song. Colour Of The Night is the front-runner and the only song that manages to live up to the appeal created by the release of The Greystone. Not so much an album to encourage movement and dancing, instead A Lost Light is a release that aims to get you into a certain state of mind and put you at ease; which it does well.

There is a sense of majesty and wonder conveyed through A Lost Light. An album that focuses on emotional engagement. It's far from perfect, but it's good enough to create a solid fan-base that will no doubt want more.


Review written by Alex Moulton

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Pacific Heights

Pacific Heights is the solo project of Wellington-based songwriter and producer Devin Abrams. Best known for the fifteen years he spent as one of the founding members of New Zealand group Shapeshifter, of late Devin's focus has returned to his solo work, heralding the arrival of a new Pacific Heights album titled The Stillness.

The first Pacific Heights album in eight years, The Stillness is a work that pays homage to his musical past while also giving Devin the freedom to present his own vision on progressive electronic music. The album showcases Devin’s incredible knack for transforming the sonic into the cinematic. The rich textures, smoky edges, and flaring electronic surges, coupled with a number of standout guest performances make for a truly breath-taking collection of music.

The album features guest appearances from a small but perfectly formed collection of New Zealand musicians including Deanne Krieg, Jen Turner, Louis Baker and Shaan Singh (Drax Project). "Collaborating with these beautiful and talented people on the album kept me sane at times and provided some refreshing musical perspectives," says Devin.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Pacific Heights

Releases

The Stillness
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
In A Quiet Storm
Year: 2008
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Borne Together
Year: 2004
Type: Album
Frozen Fears
Year: 2003
Type: Album
The Pacific Heights EP
Year: 2002
Type: EP

Other Reviews By butch181

Gig Review: Sevendust w/ City of Souls @ Powerstation, Auckland - 23/04/2019
24 Apr 2019 // by butch181
A decidedly reserved Tuesday night in Auckland and people were quietly piling into the Powerstation and grabbing some drinks at the bar. The upper balcony area was closed, so the fans were amassing downstairs around the inner perimeter of the venue.
Read More...
Sonic Altar - Album Review: Under A Dying Sun
27 Mar 2019 // by butch181
In this digital age, it’s not often that you get a full length record anymore. Everything is short and sweet just to get content out there before fans forget your band even exists.
Read More...
Levi Sesega - Single Review: Mirror Man
17 Mar 2019 // by butch181
Levi is a musical amalgamation that would in most cases be categorised as folk, thanks to the groups' uncommon mix of instruments consisting of a saxophone, cello, and cajón, and a lack of a drum kit or electric instruments. That being said, Mirror Man has something unique.
Read More...
The Gemini Effect - Single Review: Little Mouse
17 Mar 2019 // by butch181
Little Mouse is the first single from Bad Alien, the upcoming sophomore album of three-piece alt-rock act The Gemini Effect. With some nice consistent snare work, the track jumps right off the bat with a great organic sense of rhythm that has you bobbing your head and tapping your foot along with the beat, accentuated by some gritty power chords.
Read More...
Mermaidens - Single Review: You Maintain The Stain
17 Mar 2019 // by butch181
The latest release from Wellington trio Mermaidens is a straight up middle finger to the powers that control the world and throws away the mainstream formula of verse/chorus patterns, instead, forming a self-righteous maelstrom of sonic environments.  With no warning given, You Maintain The Stain gets straight into cold, apathetic vocals alongside a pluggy bassline, until the guitar jumps in with an uncomfortable level of discord that sows the seeds of uneasiness in the pit of your stomach as if every instrument is performing a different song.
Read More...
Paper Cranes - Album Review: Voices
19 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Due for release January 18, 2019, Voices is the second full-length album from Indie Folk duo Paper Cranes. While comprised of ten tracks, the album has a short overall runtime of just over 35 minutes.
Read More...
This Pale Fire - Single Review: Float Out
17 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Float Out is about the process of letting things go, moving forward, learning from your past experiences, growing as a result. As such, the track has an intrinsically emotional weight to it.
Read More...
EP Review: Miller Yule Live
17 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Miller Yule Live is a good length EP, consisting of seven tracks with a total runtime of over 30 minutes. Performing a setlist that is mostly sourced from his 2016 EP Shoot Me In The Heart (reviewed here), Miller Yule has also added in his single Diamonds (released in November 2017 and reviewed here), a stripped down adaptation of Six60's Don't Give It Up, and a new track to spice it up further.
Read More...
View All Articles By butch181

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • OLD TOWN ROAD (REMIX)
    Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
  • I DON'T CARE
    Ed Sheeran And Justin Bieber
  • BAD GUY
    Billie Eilish
  • SOMEONE YOU LOVED
    Lewis Capaldi
  • TRUTH HURTS
    Lizzo
  • CROSS ME
    Ed Sheeran feat. Chance The Rapper And PnB Rock
  • IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU
    Shawn Mendes
  • THE LONDON
    Young Thug feat. J. Cole And Travis Scott
  • TALK
    Khalid And Disclosure
  • 3 NIGHTS
    Dominic Fike
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem