Few musicians have the vision, raw talent and perfected skills to take their music from inception ideas to fully formed, beautifully crafted songs. Musical polymath Shai Halperin a.k.a. Sweet Lights is one such musician, and his debut album is a resounding testament to his visionary ability, strongly rooted in the pop rock tradition.
The end of the twentieth century saw a seismic shift from the 90s indie-rock upstart aesthetic to a scene overcrowded with pastiche guitar bands whose slick production outshone their distorted homages to their garage rock predecessors. In contrast to this establishment, Shai was hard at work cutting his teeth in the original lineup of The War on Drugs, whose members included the now infamous Kurt Vile.
In addition, Shai was shaping his own music vision in his previous band, The Capitol Years, a band who quickly became critics‘ picks mainstays with accolades including a Radcliffe and Maconie Single of the Week for their track “Revolutions”, a live session from devoted fan Bob Harris and a barnstorming set at the Glastonbury Festival. The band toured the US and UK extensively alongside the likes of The Walkmen, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Dr.Dog, Lilys, and Daniel Johnston, with whom they also performed backing band duties.
With more songs than bandmates to learn them, Shai began recording all of his instruments himself, and Sweet Lights was born.
Sweet Lights’s debut is a masterful mixture of classic song craft, innovative arrangements and poignant, heartfelt lyricism. While Sweet Lights has a firm foundation in the great music of the past, he has the vision and ingenuity to create the great music of the future. This debut is something to look forward to, and a reason to look forward in itself.
(Photo by B.Love)