Almost the first story that Rocks Off did here was music that had its inception at Red Tree Recording Studio. Since then, the studio has sent us solid gold album after solid gold album, and their latest release is no exception.
Meet Castle Lights, formerly Light Parade. Jeremiah Wood began the group as a solo endeavor at the end of 2007, after leaving his previous band Leeland. His plans changed after a chance meeting with Tyler Susuras during a studio session. Wood quickly recognized Susuras' talent, and the two began honing their sound.
Aaron Eaves, a veteran bassist from the Texas band The Blinding, joined to add a calming, low-end force to the band. With the full line-up solidified, Castle Lights is quickly gaining recognition for their carefully crafted pop songs with a European flair. Their debut EP, Paint the Stars, is the first look at their efforts.
The record is a perfect mixture of Texas and our Britpop friends from across the ocean. The guitar pickings seem bring to mind the Western flavor Stan Ridgeway used to awesome-up New Wave music back in the Wall of Voodoo days. Layered over that solid beginning is an adherence to the emotional spaciness that defines the movers and shakers in the modern-rock mainstream like Muse and Kings of Leon.
We hesitate to call an EP epic. After all, what kind of adventure can you have in less than half an hour? But there can be no doubt that the disc is 18 minutes of pure enlightened ecstasy. Launched on the power of the intergalactic pop appeal, a listener is hurtled up up up through space and time to place their hand firmly against the black velvet of the nighttime sky.
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To listen to Paint the Stars is to see the universe as something not cold and random, but crafted and personal to each viewer.
The title track is the true standout on the EP. It's a song that we fully believe has never been played live without a chorus of upraised hands swaying throughout the audience. It just has an amazing, soul-lifting quality. It's a call to a place that music so wants to go and so rarely gets to, namely that of the perfect tone to complete the tri-chord of heart, mind and music.
Castle Lights releases Paint the Stars 8:30 p.m. tonight at 2016 Mainstage. The $10 cover charge includes a free copy of the EP. Courrier, Adelaine and The Hight are also on the bill.
Jef With One F is the author of The Bible Spelled Backwards Does Not Change the Fact That You Cannot Kill David Arquette and Other Things I Learned In the Black Math Experiment, available now.