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Lights A.M. builds monuments of sound

Last updated on May 19, 2021

Lights A.M. builds magnificent, vast landscapes of sound on Stories Without WordsIcy castles, wind-swept expanses, mysterious buildings with endless rooms and high ceilings; these are all images that come to mind when listening to the towering, structured layers of synth that Lights A.M. constructs.

This is like Tron but with all the campiness replaced: instead of manic glee, “Your Secret Place” conjures up a near-mystical awe via the same big synth sounds that are so iconically ’80s. In fact, it’s the grandeur of these synths combined with the sophisticated composition that results in such evocative moments; these tools aren’t meant to make one consider the heavens in their fullness, but lo: here they can.

Some might not be able to get past the sounds to the wonder inside them, and that’s fair. But for those who can hear the beating heart of these tracks, there are wonders to hear. Highlight “The Magic Forest” captures the anticipation of discovering something wonderful beautifully. “Sense of Relief” pairs a warm lead melody with big gated sounds to produce more of that soaring, floating expanse that defines this record. Closer “Goodbye for Now” is equally beautiful. Stories Without Words is a compelling, unique work that mines a specific vein deeply and well.