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After The Soft City’s apparent hiatus, Phil Sutton returns with the first band he’s actually fronting himself. After drumming in Comet Gain, Kicker, Cinema Red and Blue and most recently The Soft City (in which he was also the main songwriter), he’s now on guitar and vocals duties in Pale Lights. Backed up by musicians from other New York bands (Crystal Stilts, Knight School) this is their first release – a 4-track ep on Sutton’s own Calico Cat label.

You’ll recognise the songwriting style from Soft City, perhaps Kicker even, but the production on this ep is a bit more dense than his previous release (the Four Stories EP by Soft City). It’s a very even effort with four strong numbers of roughly equal stature. I must say I’m surprised Sutton hasn’t done more singing because the vocals sound both inspired and balanced. It’s hard to pick a favourite out of these sombre cuts, but “Waverly Place” certainly possess a nostalgic sentiment that appeals to me. The ep is recorded by Gary Olson and there are definitely touchpoints here with his longtime recording project Ladybug Transistor. Hear for yourself, and play the rest on soundcloud.

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September 21, 2012

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