Jun 25, 2021
By Hayden Godfrey
True to their name, New York-based rockers/shoegazers Lightning Bug are cozy, friendly, and sit comfortably in the modern indie space. After 2019’s October Song, Audrey Kang and company are back for another romp, this time for a more subdued and homey experience that is, in a word, inoffensive.
Most of A Color of the Sky is typical indie fare: soothing, breathy arrangements with slightly hazy guitars and enchanting atmosphere. Still, there is some deviation from the norm; on “Wings of Desire” the band slowly devolves into repetitive euphoria, a structure that is loosely paralleled in the eventually swampy “Song of the Bell.” The title track opens with sweeping spatial swells but quickly gives way to the round, intimate acoustic guitar that accompanies Kang’s hypnotic voice. True to form, it returns to the scattered orchestral ashes from whence it came, swirling in aural haze until it suddenly subsides.
Elsewhere, “I Lie Awake” features delightful staircase-like contours laced with washy pads. It’s arrangements like these that make new members Vincent Puleo (bass) and Dane Hagen’s (drums) contributions really sink in to their respective silos; both are unobtrusive and fitting supporting players that complement the rest of the band wonderfully. The record’s final track, the almost folky “The Flash,” is a perfectly wholesome way to end an album, with pastoral harmonies floating alongside a profusion of arpeggiated guitars.
Through the conviction in Kang’s voice—and the experimental nature of some of the choices in arrangement and production—otherwise sterile arrangements are given life and charm. A Color of the Sky may not light the world on fire, but it should ignite a warm spark in enough hearts to make it worthwhile. It also gets bonus points for featuring stunningly simplistic album art, which almost perfectly captures the idyllic nature of the band’s tone. (www.lightning-bug.bandcamp.com)
Author rating: 7/10
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