peaking

After their third album, ‘Lucifer’, both cemented their place as critical darlings and saw them play to the biggest audiences of their careers to date (here in the UK, at least) you might have been forgiven for worrying that Peaking Lights’ next turn might be a wrong one – a more commercial sound perhaps, or an overly polished studio approach. Such fears go unfulfilled on this excellent fourth record, which was self-produced and recorded at the husband-and-wife duo’s LA home in Echo Park. It’s an album that, at least on the face of it, seems to pay less attention to subtlety and nuance than both ‘Lucifer’ and breakthrough ‘936’ did, instead prioritising a bolder sound over plain old complexity.

There’s still a handful of what sound like eighties pop throwbacks crossed with 16-bit video game soundtracks (‘Everyone and Us’, ‘Bad with the Good’) but the really interesting moments involve genuine inversion of the group’s sonic palette – the melodic guitar against squelching bass on ‘Infinite Trips’, for instance, or the marimba-synth pairing on ‘New Grrrls’. Uneven, sure, but certainly endearing.

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