Review by Shannon Shumaker
“Snow” provides a cinematic opening for The Lonely Wild’s Chasing White Light, coming in almost like an old western movie with horns and acoustic guitar, building and building as it moves forward. It’s easy to tell just what The Lonely Wild have set out to accomplish with Chasing White Light within this first song, and the rest of the album only promises to live up to expectations by the time “Snow” progresses easily into “Hunted.”
By the time that the second track comes in, it becomes clear that the vocal harmonies in Chasing White Light are one of the album’s strong points. In both “Snow” and “Hunted,” the vocal harmonies shine above even intricate instrumentals, coming in only when they’re needed and fading out for quiet, meaningful moments. While the vocal harmonies do only come in to supplement the lead vocals when needed, they come in at the perfect times, making the songs sound much fuller and more beautiful. “Hunted” takes that same urgency that can be found in the guitar work of the first track and also applies it to the vocals, making an incredibly strong song.
One of the best parts about Chasing White Light is in the album’s raw and real quality to both the vocals and the instrumentals. These songs are not over produced or fake sounding by any means. They sound just as the band intended, and likely exactly how they will sound when played live, which is a hard feat to accomplish.
“Born,” is a minute long soft and ambient interlude that stands out from the pack with no vocals and beautiful instrumentals, slowing things down before leading perfectly into the following track, “Running.” “Running” sounds different than any of the songs before it, showcasing The Lonely Wild’s versatility. The band swaps fast paced and urgent sounding guitar for a softer and nearly psychedelic sound with softer vocals. The female vocals take the lead on this track with the male vocal parts serving as the harmonies, supplemented by soft guitar and orchestral elements. Even though “Running” sounds different than the songs that open Chasing White Light, it also stays true to some key elements that make the other songs strong, such as great vocal harmonies and guitar work.
“Funeral” follows “Running” and has that same ambient quality as “Born,” though it is carried mostly by vocals and emotional, personal lyrics. Bringing the energy back up in the second half of the album is another strong track, “Into Their Mouths.” This song brings us right back to the beginning with that western feeling that made “Snow” strong, and connecting the album very well.
The second half of the album does host quite a few slower songs, however, and while these songs are strong, they do seem to lose the momentum that started building from the very beginning. It would have been nice to have a good balance of slower and more upbeat songs toward the end of the album, but at the same time, the way that Chasing White Light winds down does make sense. This album has a very cinematic feeling to it, and the end of the album is no exception. “Blunt The Blade,” for instance is an emotional high point, nearly breaking your heart in the vocals and lyrics with dark piano and guitar to match.
The album’s title track is very beautiful, and another strong slow track to bring things to a close before the following final song, “Echo,” which only clocks in at a minute and eighteen seconds. This final song is actually one of the more interesting and captivating tracks on the album, as it is simply made up of a capella vocal harmonies. The ending feels absolutely perfect, especially considering the fact that the vocal harmonies are a high point throughout the entirety of Chasing White Light. “Echo” comes to a strong close with the heartfelt lingering line of, “I hope you’re there.”
Listen to "Running"
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