“Who decides if it’s just ambition / who decides if we’re wasting time? / But I believe in this heart of mine”, asks Will Overton on ‘More to Life’, taken from his band Lightscape’s new EP, Circles. This powerful statement underlines the bands’ desire to write big arena friendly anthems, which Circles has in spades. The EP features glossy production courtesy of Oz Craggs (Mallory Knox, Neck Deep), giving it a polished sheen that is built for arenas.
It’s evident that support slots for Lonely the Brave and Black Stone Cherry have put a new spring in Lightscape’s step, allowing them to push themselves creatively. ‘By Design’ opens with some beautiful production, featuring layered, choppy synths. The chemistry between guitarists Sam Nichol and Ben Ashcroft has become tighter, with powerful riffs and solos loaded with ambition.
Overton has raised his game vocally, a perfect example being on the Arcane Roots-esque ‘More to Life’. Featuring the aforementioned mighty chorus, this is the perfect Lightscape track, beautifully mixing the heavy guitars with wavy, atmospheric synths. Overton’s soaring vocal on this track hits the listener hard; his hunger to chase the sun is evident, while the instrumentation takes you onto an epic journey.
The title track is tailor made for stadiums, with reverberated trance-like synths, which dominate the track. This is unfamiliar territory for the band, but it works very well. It could be about a messy relationship which reaches breaking point, encapsulated by a catchy chorus: “We’re running round in circles, and I can’t decide if it’s do or die.” The filtered vocal before the half-speed chorus allows the listener to take in the atmosphere, which would mesmerise an audience at a live show.
This is a skill that Lightscape have mastered because throughout this EP, there are plenty of upbeat guitars that counterbalance the deeply introspective lyrics. ‘Press Rewind’ is about a relationship on the verge of breaking up through lack of communication. Overton wishes to turn back the clock and make things right as he sings: “I wish I can press rewind, I’m kinda hoping we’ll be better off this time.” It’s a poignant track; the mistakes Overton laments about immediately feel vivid and clear, creating a massive impact.
‘Haven’t Got the Time’ is one of the best tracks on the EP. The production is minimal, with dark, heavily reverberated guitars, while Overton’s vocals are laid bare, bringing out every drop of emotion. As he sings “I don’t claim to be what you wanted / I haven’t got the time” it shows he’s ending a previous chapter in his life and moving on to something bigger. He demonstrates enough conviction that this decision isn’t to be taken lightly, but this is a journey that will make or break him, the luscious backdrop providing the perfect accompaniment to this new beginning.
If you’re into Arcane Roots and Lonely the Brave, then Lightscape’s Circles is definitely an EP to feast your eyes on. It’s a hard-hitting emotional experience that has all the hallmarks of a band who’ll make it big in the future.
Circles is released on 1st December.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos