Come Back Stronger – Pier Lights (single review)

When most creative people were bemoaning their lack of freedom, lack of access to their art-spaces and stages, creating a wave of, often, let’s face it uninspired, live-stream shows from their downstairs toilet due to pandemic imposed strictures, at least two people were swimming against the tide of lockdown’s lack-lustre reactions. After all if an artist can’t perform or a band can’t rehearse then why not do a bit of file swapping (presumably), collaborate on new material and take a brand new musical vehicle for a spin.

Well, that is my version of the attitudes and events which led to King In Mirrors’ Rich May and Jonathan Troy of Hi-Li Companion popping back up into the musical spotlight with their new side project, Pier Lights. The real story may be quite different to this, but that isn’t really what matters here. What matters is this cracking new single.

Rich May has always had a great voice for such music, The King In Mirrors always sounded like a long-lost late 80’s indie band even 30 years after the fact, and here the combination of gentle indie guitar work and chiming electronica feels like a real nod to the likes of New Order but also slots right in with the more chilled end of today’s indie sound. 

The vocal blends are gorgeous, the guitar work perfectly understated, the synths are used as sonic dream-weavers, the whole a wonderful blend of deftly layer textures and interwoven, shimmering soundscapes.

What to do when lockdown gets in the way of your plans. You can either moan about things on social media or you can set about earning the title of “creative, ” hook up with like-minded musical allies and knock out one of the most near-perfect tracks of the year.

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