EP Review: Lightscape – Circles

Norwich rockers Lightscape are back with an exciting new synthy edge to their big rock sound. The five-piece, who were our New Band of the Week last October, release their new EP Circles on 1 December, and it’s packed with rocky goodness supporting frontman Will Overton’s trademark insatiably good vocals.

Chatting to the guys before their gig supporting Maven at the Camden Assembly last week, we discussed at length why more people need to give rock music a go – rather than being put off when they hear the (awesome) sound of big guitars. Will went on to describe he sees his songwriting as being no different to a popstar like, for example, Ellie Goulding. And this element of the Lightscape approach comes across throughout this EP, with catchy, engaging vocals supported by heavier, rocky instrumentals.

The EP kicks off with a big synthy intro to its lead single By Design. Will’s vocals cut into the synthy backdrop “Don’t ever wonder why you’ve never had much luck, You’ve taken leave of your senses, You seem to clutch to this idea, this illusion, Convincing yourself you’ll be fine this time.” The relaxed vocals continue then the synth intensifies with little bursts as guitars edge in through the singalong “Well I’ve been here before, And I can feel your presence all around me, It scares me that I thought we left this all behind.”

A lone guitar chord brings in the big Lightscape rock sound for the first time as we dive into heavier singalong vocals “So here’s another chance for you to pull the strings, An opportunity to get back underneath her skin, While you have time to work on your disguise, I’m not buying it, You can’t blame me, Call it coincidence I call it by design.”

That builds towards even bigger vocals supported by high-pitched swooping guitars, followed by a big guitar solo and more singalong vocals “The only thing I know is I won’t waste my time on you pretending, Testing my resolve and doubting my own mind.” A building section with repeats of “It scares me that I thought we left this all behind” builds towards another big guitar solo, which ends in the instruments dropping down in a chilled end to a big powerful EP opener. You can check it out in the video, which has been airing on Scuzz TV, below:

More synthy bursts open up title track Circles, soon joined by jumpy, punchy hits of guitar. It drops down into a chorus of Will’s relaxed vocals with floaty guitars then picks up the pace with the singalong vocals “I wish I could make a difference, I wish I could make amends, If there’s nothing on my conscience, Then I cannot comprehend.”

The trancey punches return in a more powerful hit of “Are we getting nowhere, Or will be alright, We’re going round in circles, And now I can’t decide if it’s do or die,” which swiftly returns after a brief second verse. High-pitched floating guitars are contrasted by low punchy chords as Will repeats “Are we getting nowhere?” There’s a brief pause then a repeating guitar riff, which drops out to be replaced by the synth noise and more repeats of “Are we getting nowhere” that are soon joined by big bursts of guitar chords in a heavy outro.

More to Life opens up with rolling synth noise that continues underneath big guitar chords. A fun singalong verse follows that increases in intensity at the line “Keep your champaign and cocaine minds,” then a really pre-chorus builds up to a powerful chorus “Somebody tell me that there’s more to life, And open up your eyes, You’re searching for something you’ll never find, So tell me who decides if it’s just ambition, Who decides if we’re wasting time, But I believe I believe in this heart of mine.”

Punchy guitars support more powerful vocals through the second verse and builds into another chorus followed by a big low-tuned, rolling guitar riff that gets all metally on us. Then vocals supported by the synth sound then a big wall of guitars support more huge vocals in the build-up to a final chorus. It’s an absolutely huge anthem that you can’t help but scream your lungs out to.

The pace drops down in the intro to Press Rewind with a cool synth noise that’s joined by a hit of guitar before dropping down into a relaxed opening verse. A big cry of “I hope it isn’t too late” is the cue for the rocky guitars to jump in and support a big singalong chorus “Man I wish that I could press rewind, I’m kinda hope that we’ll be better off this time, We’ve gotta find a way to make this right, I’ll do anything to bring you back to life” over a backdrop of the synth riff and guitar chords.

A pause follows then a big cry of “Someone tell me how this ends” brings in high-pitched guitars alongside a really cool falling guitar riff in a heavier verse that ends in a huge cry of “I’ll never let you go,” which brings in another chorus supported by high-pitched guitar riffs. The pace picks up further with big guitars supporting driving vocals, then a moment of pause and a guitar slide gives way to a big outro of guitars, driving drums and vocals.

The final new track on the EP is Haven’t Got The Time, which begins with repeating synthy sounds and a light guitar lick supporting echoey vocals. The pace picks up a little then a cool laid back ascending guitar solo takes over, and is eventually joined by a building synth noise and drums that lead into a hugely powerful delivery of: “I don’t claim to be what you wanted, I haven’t got the time, Talk is cheap it’s no use ignoring, Or turning blinded eyes, And you won’t see the change in me, You seem to me you know that we’re stalling, I haven’t got the time.”

The EP closes out with a remastered version of Live In Fear, the single they released back in June. It opens up with a cool high-pitched looping guitar riff and a big hit of guitars that give way to vocals that gradually build in intensity over a rolling drumbeat and the intro guitar riff, then explode into a big singalong chorus “I’m gonna need a better reason, ‘Cos this really isn’t working, I’ve got a strange kinda feeling, The divide it can only get bigger.” It continues at a lively pace with oodles of big singalong vocals, then drops down into a slowly screeching guitar then repeats of “They will never stop us” builds into a big high-pitched guitar solo over feint vocals and continues over repeats of “So do we live in fear” to bring the track and the EP to a close. Cherck it out in the video below:

Circles is a superb portrayal of the evolution of the Lightscape sound, having gone all out with the synth edge that they’ve dabbled into on previous songs. It certainly adds another element and it really works against the big rockiness of their music. For me it’s yet another example of how great Lightscape are, and I can’t urge you strongly enough to buy their music and go and see them perform live.

Circles is out on Friday 1 December and you can pre-order it here. You can follow Lightscape on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check out the rest of their music on Spotify and YouTube.

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