Thursday, 8 September 2016

EP: Exiles - Red Lights

Exiles Red Lights

Exiles - Red Lights

Info: Synth outfit Exiles formed in the South-East of Ireland in 2014 when producer-musicians Darragh O’Connor and Johnny Smee, driven by a love for the 1980’s and all things electronic, began to collaborate on synthwave inspired music. Darragh (Guitar/Synths) and Johnny (Keys/Electronic Drums) were joined in 2015 by Jack O’Flaherty (Vocals/Guitar), and together the trio began working on their debut EP. 

With influences ranging from Hall & Oates, Tears for Fears and the soundtrack to Lethal Weapon, right through to St. Lucia, All Tvvins and the soundtrack to Lethal Weapon 2, Exiles carefully crafted their four track debut EP “Red Lights” in Camden Recording Studios under the expert guidance of producer Ross Fortune (Vann Music, Benny Smiles) - a gentleman who himself is no stranger to larger than life synthscapes that capture the excesses of the time.

When the E.P.'s title-track was released last month I was all aboard the Exiles 80's train straight away observing; "Red Lights' not only waves its hat at the decade, but Exiles also incorporate such a varied number of styles from the era." And that it does, there's the guitar riff, the impassioned and comb in the mirror pre-chorus, and then what is puzzlingly simplistic, but incredibly catchy call of the songs title and how it's delivered, every now and again, at random over the last four weeks a little 'Red Lights!' jams itself into my head, and I'm like, yeah!

Exiles - Holding You

Second track 'Holding You' (above), is notably different in some ways, the upbeat nature of the title track subsides into slightly more pensive territory, and a more contemporary variation of Exiles' pop sound. Jumping back to the opener, 'Autopilot' is a rapid and pulsating cacophony of rhythm and beats, like little pins its sharp bursts prick your skin, straddling on the outer rim of Wild Beasts' sound, the group deliver a super solid dance-floor killer filler. 

That level of intensity steps up a notch on 'One Horse Town', it's embracing dark electro sounds, synths grabbing on to the wild abandon of a secret Todd Terje track whilst the percussion feels like a 10x sped up version of The Human League's 'Don't You Want Me'. For a debut release Red Lights has much to offer, it is instantly likeable, they know what they up to, but the really pleasing thing is that you can clearly see that their second E.P., or even next single, is going to be the beginning of something special. I like how their music makes me feel, it's happy, care-free and effortless listening, at the moment, a whirlpool, but when the whirlpool settles I've no doubt that their real magic will surface.

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