Local Music Reviews September 2018

Local Review: Follow the Weather – First Light

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Follow the Weather
First Light

Self-Released
Street: 06.27
Follow the Weather = Estas Tonne + The Cinematic Orchestra × acoustic Chevelle

I can’t actually remember the last time that I was up early enough to witness first light, so it’s a convenient thing that Follow the Weather have packaged the experience up so concisely in their fourth release, First Light. Lively acoustic strumming, grand string sweeps and mounting keyboard chords paint the picture—a sunrise full of bright and jubilant melodies and mysterious, somber ones. First Light is an experience that feels honed—distilled into a savory ensemble of guitar strums, clean drumming and deep bass humming. This is the kind of album that could easily be listened to while studying. It’s full of soft-spoken interludes and slow builds—but also one that rewards deep listening, with its intricate harmonies, and subtle character. Needless to say, it’s an album that I can wholeheartedly suggest you check out.

I’m honestly a little surprised that I like First Light so much. The album is built upon slow and dramatic builds—think Explosions in the Sky—which don’t usually catch my interest. Coupled with excellent production quality, however, and it’s easy to hear the character of each instrument, lending the experience a much more intricate and intimate savor. The pulse of the album is intoxicating, inviting—nay, demanding that I tap my foot in time with the dance of each song. Acoustic guitar, piano and the occasional bit of drumming make up the bulk of the orchestration, but electric guitar melodies, interesting sound effects and warm bass lines bring the mix to great heights. A particularly impressive climax to the album, “New You You’ve Always Been,” had my jaw on the floor the first time I listened and heard the full might of Follow the Weather’s steady guitar riffage, vitalizing drumming and powerful bass lines.

I can tell that a tremendous amount of work went into the making of First Light, and it really paid off. The rhythms are strong and dancey, the melodies ring in my ears, and the quality of the mix is top notch. Best of all, you can stream the whole album for free on Follow the Weather’s bandcamp! If you’re in the mood for a solid—albeit short—set of instrumentals, then don’t miss First Light! –Alex Blackburn