The Hypnotic Lights – We Are (EP Review)

With artists such as David Guetta, Daft Punk, Swedish House Mafia and many more setting an incredibly high standard for up and coming electronic-synth and house bands it is imperative to be unique to get recognised. What with synthesizers, drum machines and computers relied on to produce the majority of the sound it is difficult to possess your music with a personal touch and identify an individual style in a genre that is increasingly becoming extremely saturated. Difficult, but not impossible, as German synth-pop trio ‘Hypnotic Lights’ have proved with their new E.P ‘We Are’.

Modern day ‘electro’ has found itself at home in the nightclub. Crowds of hundreds squeezed together, lasers bisecting the smoke clouds and fists pumping the air to every bass beat. ‘We Are’ takes the genre back a decade and is a selection of essentially pop songs that hypnotise and seduce the listener in a way that would make artists such as Sebastien Tellier and Body Language stop and pay attention.

Track One is called ‘Hey We Are’ and you are greeted with simple charming melodies before being introduced to two voices that harmonise well together and what are responsible for bringing the ‘pop’ elements to all the tracks, not a mile away from the likes of Ting Tings and Alphabeat but backed with the sophisticated synth sounds that tell you that this is a band that needs to be taken seriously. The combination of vocal and dreamy music makes it very easy to get lost, almost hypnotised which judging by the band’s name was one of their primary intentions.

For me the self titled ‘Hypnotic Lights’ is the stand out track. Once again the song starts calm and juvenile but as it evolves the vocals become haunting and the beat threatening, displaying a darker more poignant aspect to this bands sound. Tracks such as ‘Marionette’ and ‘Pictures in the Clouds’ follow a similar form with speedy verses contrasting punchy choruses that are more thank capable to cause you to be accidently whistling them in two days time.

For the last two tracks an edited version by Lanny May is included, taking the sound and turning it into something that would not be out of place in the nightclub environment discussed earlier and although it is exciting to explore a bands potential it is the charm and the subtleties of ‘Hypnotic Lights’ sound that makes them unique, not the ability to make a full room bounce, and I hope that this is something that they pursue and explore in any future work.

The E.P title tells us simply that ‘We Are’ causing us to ask the obvious question… what? What are Hypnotic Lights? An electro band, an uplifting pop-trio? However they are described or categorised one thing is for sure and that is if the band were looking for a longer variation on their chosen E.P title I would like to suggest that it would be ‘We are, responsible for some very pleasant songs indeed.’

Jack McIlroy Reid

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