KICK – a development from my Browse review

The last time I reviewed Streaming Lights, I described them as

playful, energetic and hypnotising.

Formed in 2010, I first saw them perform at one of their first headline gigs. It didn’t blow my mind, and I didn’t really think twice about stating that. With time for them to become more passionate and less forceful on stage, I saw the enjoyment and power which holds this band together.

Their debut album will be available on ITunes from Monday 20th October, featuring a collection of their best songs, new and old.

I purchased their album ‘Kick’ on CD about a month ago, preferring the hard copy to a digital download. Not only for the music, but for the artwork displayed by local artist John Dearing. The front depicts rays of brightly coloured sunshine, which aptly summarises my renewed experience of Steven Minns, Ryan Gibbins and Chris Flynn. Having written reviews of their live sets this summer, I’ve found great pleasure in the simple banter which is thrown between band members and the audience. With an ease, they share their music and their personalities at the same time.

Steven Minns
Steven Minns

The album starts off with the song ‘Modern Disco’ which suggests you “batten the hatches, slap the chain across the door” and enjoy the disco you can have in your living room. It’s a perfect fit as the bouncy beats and catchy lyrics make it easy to dance to these tunes wherever you are. This track and most of the others are suitable for any party, with a buoyant atmosphere to the album.

There are a selection of hard copies of this album still available, of which the band are selling for a mere fiver on Ebay. Alas, this brings us nicely to the second song on their album: ‘Do The Math’, released as a single and previously remixed by Endoflevelbaddie, explores the band’s addiction with the marketing website. I love the simplicity of the lyrical content – it’s literally about buying and selling stuff on Ebay – but you can’t help question the concept of addiction in a modern-day world. Who needs drugs, when you can get your kicks checking your notifications?

‘The Slipper Song’ slows down the pace, slicing the album with that necessary moment of sombre contemplation which features in any good playlist. With this song, Minns shows a different spectrum of colourful vocals. As with ‘Do The Math’, the topic seems simple and rather silly, but the sound is solemn and charming. It’s not going to make your question your choice of footwear, but it will make you feel as warm as a pair of slippers can.

After this song, the vibe accelerates into an electric mix of joyful beats, with popular song ‘Cut of Your Jib’ and another pre-released single ‘Wait A Minute’. ‘Cut Of Your Jib’ is that one song which always gets the crowd moving when they perform live. It’s entirely animated – foot-tapping bass, bouncy guitar riffs, and playful performers. I dare you not to get your groove on when this song is playing.

Streaming Lights performing at Freedom Festival 2014
Streaming Lights performing at Freedom Festival 2014

Whatever I saw and felt the first time I witnessed these guys live, is very much forgotten. Now, I don’t have a playlist which doesn’t feature one of their songs. I’ve played their music to my students, who also took some time to accept their sound; one boy said they were a “good weird”, pulling a face as boys do, and another declared this week that ‘Modern Disco’ is his favourite of my song choices. Perhaps they are the kind of sound which takes a bit of listening to. Perhaps I was cynical, as my students often are, the first time round. Whatever my excuse for the back-then me, I’m now certainly a fan.

Download their album, listen to it over and over. And, if you’re not already, you’ll be liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter in no time.

Originally written for Browse Magazine Hull;

developed for ColourMeNix

and my own need to exceed 500 words.

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