photos by Vanessa Caron-Cantin
As San Francisco-based NO LIGHTS prepares to release their debut LP, Dream Eraser, through The Ghost Is Clear Records in June release, No Echo is currently hosting a premiere of the band’s video for the new single, “Sparrows.”
There isn’t an obvious phonic principle that connects the post-punk, indie pop of NO LIGHTS to more than two decades of Bay Area hardcore and metal. Perhaps it’s more a family resemblance than anything else, uniting guitarist/lead vocalist Matt O’Brien (Early Graves, Grace Alley), guitarist Israel Branson (Set Your Goals), bassist Ian Miller (Kowloon Walled City, Redemption 87), and drummer Dan Sneddon (Kowloon Walled City, Early Graves).
Like the streets of San Francisco in a Hitchcock movie, there is something familiar here, but never obvious whether it’s more beautiful or more troubling than real life. The references don’t evoke nostalgia, aren’t reverential. And trying to pinpoint specific influences is like trying to tell the difference between the digital and the analog, between tubes and tape and bits and bites: an exercise in feeling rather than precision. NO LIGHTS released the double/paired EPs Stay Awake and June Bug just before the world shut down in early 20202, and now, 2023 sees the band delivering their debut full length record, Dream Eraser.
With ten lush tracks, Dream Eraser tactfully delivers an emotive and captivating blend of sounds listeners could possibly trace to The Pixies, The Cure, The Wipers, Echo And The Bunnymen, and more. The album was recorded and mixed by Scott Evans at Sharkbite and Anti Sleep Studios, mastered by Carl Saff, and completed with artwork by Justin Mcniff.
The new video for “Sparrows” was directed by Justis Krar. NO LIGHTS’ Matt O’Brien reveals, “Thematically the song is about alienation. Although, the lyrics give a kind of nonlinear narration that is open to interpretation. Some passages could be construed as a depiction of a sex worker protagonist navigating through a cityscape of savages. Like many of the songs on Dream Eraser, the listener is invited to draw on their own experiences and decide what the song is about for them.”
Justis Krar adds, “Essentially, I want to juxtapose the new with the old (new cars and junkyards), and indoor spaces of ‘beauty’ (office buildings and homes) with the outdoors. Like how we think there is optimization to everything, but is optimization the point of it all?”
No Echo writes, “In terms of their writing and performing style NO LIGHTS hold down a sound that skates between the sonic realms of post-punk and melodic indie rock, focusing on subtle atmospherics and big hooks.”
Watch NO LIGHTS’ “Sparrows” video first at No Echo RIGHT HERE.
Dream Eraser will be released on 180-gram Black Vinyl and all digital platforms on June 9th through The Ghost Is Clear. Find digital preorders at the NO LIGHTS Bandcamp HERE, and digital/vinyl preorders at the label Bandcamp HERE and webshop HERE.
Stand by for additional videos and more to drop as the album nears release.
NO LIGHTS has booked multiple regional tours in support of the album. Having just returned from a three-city tour of the Northwest, from May 25th through 28th they’ll hit the South, playing Denton, Oklahoma City, Houston, And Austin with Mall Walker.
NO LIGHTS Tour Dates:
5/25/2023 Rubber Gloves – Denton, TX w/ Mall Walker, Flowerbed, Unspell
5/26/2023 Mass Movement – Oklahoma City, OK w/ Mall Walker, Speak, Memory, Plain Speak
5/27/2023 Starseed Hostel – Houston, TX w/ Mall Walker, As We Shiver, Fun Haunts
5/28/2023 Chess Club – Austin, TX w/ Mall Walker, Capture Phase, Tied Up
Watch for additional tour dates to post over the weeks ahead.