Album Review: Lane 8 - Brightest Lights

Lane 8's 'Brightest Lights' distills the best of what has made his music so beloved and builds on it.
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Lane 8 Brightest Lights

Lane 8 has released his third album Brightest Lights. The record follows a pattern of past LPs where featured artists are often found multiple times on the project. He teams up with electronic trio Arctic Lake twice and reunited with Poliça three times throughout the album.

Lane 8 over the last decade established himself as the most reliable member of the Anjunadeep crew, helping to cement a sublime, emotional and melodic brand of deep house that took the label from being Anjunabeats’ little cousin to its own music and events behemoth.

Lane 8 then broke off to run his own label This Never Happened, with parties where phone cameras are covered up and attendees are strongly encouraged to live in the moment, not through a screen. He signs artists to the label and has pushed it to the forefront of his brand as his own music grows as well.

He is continuing that growth with his new album Brightest Lights that follows up his scintillating 2015 debut Rise and 2018’s Little By Little.

Now Brightest Lights helps to capture and distill what has made his music so good over the past decade. The 13-track LP doesn’t diverge too much from what has been a winning formula with soothing and hypnotic melodies, while the vocals all look to add an additional emotional element to each track.

However, there is something new with this album that has been teased out in previous collaborations. His music has always had a mix of trance and house, blended together into something different. Now there is a strong inclination towards the sort of progressive house we saw evolve out of the 1990s and into the sound Eric Prydz has championed. “The Gift” sounds like it would fit right at home with a Pryda Friends release with its rolling drums and chopped up vocal.

The album feels as natural a listen as you will hear this year (I know we are only two weeks in). The melodies flow effortlessly into each other and elements like the drums, synth melodies and piano all play on each other. The vocalists match the sort of sound Lane 8 wants to create. They are an additional component on each song and don’t overwhelm the hypnotic melodies being layered underneath.

Brightest Lights is at times mellow and emotional, like on the opener “Groundhog Day” or “How Often” with Kauf. The LP can be hopeful and yearning like on the album title track or “Don’t Let Me Go.” It can also be uplifting and powerful like “The Flood.” The album runs the full gamut of emotional peaks and valleys to one final conclusion on “The Rope,” which channels all of the emotional moments from the album into one final salvo to take on the chin.

Brightest Lights distills the best of what has made his music so beloved and builds on it. It is deep, soothing, melodic and emotional, all spread out over an easy to listen to album. Last week was slow for new music, but Lane 8 is off to a fast start with Brightest Lights.

Brightest Lights is out now via This Never Happened. Stream it below and get your copy here.

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