New Bands Panel | Light Falls Forward – Songs and Shadows EP

This week three of our writers have eyed up  London-based two-piece Light Falls Forward, who met at a house party and immediately bonded over Derren Brown and biscuits. They moved in with each other, decided to write music together and Songs and Shadows is the result. Here’s what FFS thinks….

Natalie Tompkins: For a single girl, spending too much time with a newly loved up couple can start to get a bit too much after a while. And that’s how listening to six consecutive love songs from boyfriend/girlfriend duo Light Falls Forward feels.

The haunting ‘Weather the Storm’ sets things off to a good start with some big moments of light and shade forming the backdrop to Naomi’s airy Imogen Heap-style vocals. But, after that, your attention is likely to waver. Despite having some strong lyrics and a strong subject matter (love) throughout, there is a lack of drama and excitement leaving the whole thing falling a bit flat.

Nonetheless, the EP contains some stunning guitar picking, some surprising harmonies and each track is peppered with quirky piano syncopation, which just shows how good these guys can be. I suppose, just like sitting with a couple in love, the sweetness and charm seems to shine through and, after the first few listens, you can’t help but find yourself getting a little bit caught up in it.

Rosy Ross: This EP is a pleasing collection of songs marrying vocals, acoustic guitar and piano (and a hint of drums). A classic set up, but with no extras to hide behind, Naomi Paget and Charlie Evans show how adept they are at singing a story to the right sounds. And if that doesn’t do it for you, according to their blog they sometimes play with a string quartet and as ‘a rock four piece’, which would certainly shake things up a bit.

Opening track ‘Weather the Storm’ is simply beautiful. There are no superfluous flourishes, just Paget‘s clear voice rising over a clean guitar riff, gradually rising with a wave of piano and muffled drums, then falling again. I felt a distinct sea tide influence on this track – and although it’s about a stormy sea the song does not get carried away with the metaphor.

This restraint runs throughout the EP, and really gives it a grown-up style that marks the duo out as professionals. No song crosses over the four-minute mark, and each is confidently executed. Evans’ voice is similarly clear and confident, and gets to take centre stage in ‘Rise Above It’, and the less-engaging ‘So What’ and ‘Right From the Start’. The final two tracks pick things up again somewhat, especially the summery number ‘Little Things’. Although perhaps my attention faltered during a couple of songs, I’d still bet their live performance is really excellent.

Kathy Saunders: The six tracks here are made up of varying amounts of haunting vocals, birdsong and heartfelt, often twee, lyrics. It’s a record that has some potential, offering a glimpse of what this duo could be capable of one day.

‘Rise Above It’ is a particular highlight. It has a great jazz-inspired rhythm to it and sounds very natural, whereas there is something of a choirboy sound to other tracks, such as ‘Weather the Storm’ and ‘Little Things’. These tracks are pleasant, but that’s as far as they go. They’re a little too earnest and could do with a little jumpstart.

All is not lost however, as ‘Right From The Start’ is ominously hopeful in a way, and features a great piano/guitar combination. The instruments work very well together, so much so that it becomes possible to take the lyrics seriously. The final track, ‘Here & Now’, is even a little Christmassy around the edges. It’s full of simple, honest and essentially very nice lyrics. It’ll be interesting to see what Light Falls Forward come up with in the future.

We want to know what you think too- have a listen and thoughts on Twitter to @forfolkssake please! Catch the band live at the Birdcage in Bristol on November 29.

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