In a world where most songwriting formulas have been worn out like a pair of old boots, In Light Of are an outfit that delves into strange and dizzying sonic heights.
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The duo, comprised of Jason Greenberg and Sandy Johnston, created Little Treasures in separate cities at different times, moulding their ideas together remotely to make one complete, standalone piece.
Without a single spoken word vocal on the EP, Little Treasures focus heavily on seemingly infinite sonic landscapes and layered melodies to give the tracks drive and definition.
It’s hard to pin exactly where Little Treasures lies on the musical spectrum, but there are certainly strong elements of lo-fi, post-rock, electronica, ambient, and a splash of psychedelia that wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack of a melancholic indie flick like Garden State.
As a whole, Little Treasures is somewhat of a musical juxtaposition. The core of the EPs tracks comprise of lo-fi rhythm sections, yet the overall feel of the songs are polished and angelic with the use of subtly processed string sections and synth pads that float endlessly into the atmosphere.
Despite the two creators crafting the Little Treasures from separate cities, the record is entirely cohesive, with each track blending into the next without any plasticity whatsoever. There are no gaping holes – each section, from the percussion right through to the guitar parts are mixed in a way that conveys the mood of the cover art, particularly during the ‘Cardinal Song’ which evokes a strong sense of nostalgia and fantasy with its loose structure and dreamy soundscapes.
The record starts with pomp as ‘Bless Your Heart’ rapidly builds into a crescendo as an intense yet angelic arsenal of melodic textures dance around the track’s backbone, which remains as constant as a loyal hound.
The one thing that lets Little Treasures down is the fact that the narrative suffers somewhat. Deep in the heart of the title track, the EP begins to lose its identity and every element merges into one pleasant sounding mish-mash, rather than a timeline that promises to take you on a genuine musical journey.
Fortunately, ‘Ascending’ kicks in just in time to save the day with its head nodding string section that builds into a kaleidoscopic climax, accompanied by a heavenly female vocal that gives the song an extra dimension of warmth and vigour.
The conclusion of Little Treasures is pleasant on the ears if not little lacklustre, and almost serves as a come down to the triumph of ‘Ascending’, but, as far as comedowns go, it’s not so bad.
Overall, Little Treasures is a solid debut that creates a cinematic mood rather than telling a story but if you’re on a reflective car journey, a long walk, or doing the washing up, it provides a pretty neat soundtrack.