Okay let’s get this out of the way quickly. The new album “Light The Sea”, by the Alternative Pop/Rock band from Baltimore, Airwaves Spectacular is another classic and unforgettable recording from start to finish. I love this band, from their previous material to their latest release. Cyrus Keefer and Chris Tolentino produce excellent music, while together with Kayla Rae, they have a set of well-suited voices which cover a whole lot of ground. Melodically and technically gifted, this trio can do no wrong. Their songs have a little bit of everything that’s endearing to the ear. The powerful builds, those trippy synths, the modern cutting edge production, the retro harmonies, the smooth grooves – all are mind-blowing. The tracks also have great chord progressions and strong song structure. Full of heart and harmonic urgency, “Light The Sea” shows a band that has become a stronger and even more cohesive unit than before.
With “Light The Sea”, Airwaves Spectacular have topped my expectations and has moments of sheer brilliance. This is a modern record, first and foremost, but it’s one that can be quite deep in lyrics and technical arrangement one moment, and very funky and grooving the next.
A good place to start, is right at the beginning, with “Remedy”. The song is really epic and is a good representation of the whole record and what I think the trio are trying to do with it. It is upbeat and loud in places, but beautiful and delicately arranged at the same time.
It’s this balance, this dynamic, that makes “Light The Sea” as a whole, work so well. “Another World So Lost” is a little more complex tempo-wise, but only on the first few listens. Like most of the tracks on this album, it gets so much better on the third or fourth time round, as you uncover its layers.
That they can write the hell out of a song, becomes most clear on “Spirit Assembly”, which has a slowly unfolding melody and rich harmonies to die for. “We Just Heard The News” has grabbed hold of me and won’t let go. The combination of soaring, powerful vocals over a driving rock chorus and an acoustic bass driven verse is incredibly compelling.
“Chasing The White Noise” is the conglomeration of everything Airwaves Spectacular has been attempting up to this point, rolled into one tightly knit bundle of musical freedom and epic sound. “Drive Slow Kayla” has gut-wrenching power, as well as, heart stopping melody.
“If I Could Run” is a typically synth warped, beat driven soundscape, colliding with that ever blissful indie pop sensibility that Airwaves Spectacular exude, its arranging beauty is wrapped around truly sublime playing.
The title track “Light The Sea”, is a welcome change from the more bombastic work, as the band brings it all down, swooning over a drifting, two tone synth, backed by a darker, lamenting beat. It has curious little nuances throughout, and never loses itself amidst its stripped-down splendor that becomes more ominous during the choruses.
Airwaves Spectacular turn up the heat on “Life Costs Much More”, as the guitars move to the forefront. The track bursts and resonates across its power chords, riveting vocals and flamboyant guitar and keyboard arrangements.
This album is simply a masterful work that stretches one’s emotions, tightening then releasing the tension. It grabs your head the moment you listen to the first track, and refuses to let go even after the last song is over. “Light The Sea” is Airwaves Spectacular coming of age. It’s absolutely wonderful.