“Still Light”: Dahlia Sleeps Tread Dark Waters With Their Lush Debut
This was originally going to be a tweet, but honestly: fuck a character limit.
Truthfully, I’m feeling more burnt out than ever trying to meet the demands of need-it-now media culture. I’ve not exactly tried to hide that fact over the years — and it’s not as if our society is slowing down anytime soon. Attention spans are shot: ain’t nobody got time for more than a passing headline in a news feed, video killed the blog star, and social media is a prison.
But sometimes, when I don’t actually have to be concerned with #demclicks or #demviews at all hours in order to pay my rent, simply discovering new music and up-and-coming talent — like, back in the glory days of mid-’00s MP3 blog culture — helps me to remember why I started MuuMuse in the first place.
I (accidentally) happened upon “Still Light” by Dahlia Sleeps after begrudgingly listening to a song sent my way by a publicist earlier tonight. The song they asked me to write about was just fine. But this unrelated track queued up afterward on Soundcloud’s autoplay feature (a discovery feature I love, by the way) and it sounded better — way better — to the point where I had to stop what I was doing and see what this track’s all about.
Conveniently, “Still Light” is considered by the group — made up of singer Lucy Hill, Luke Hester, Spencer Buckley and Callum Sharp — to be their official debut single, so there’s not much catching up that we need to do. (DIY also wrote up the track a few weeks ago, plus one song a year earlier called “Black and Blue” — that one’s also very good.)
“You’re on your knees, I feel it changing me / As you’re wading from the shallows to the sea / I know there are days where nothing seems to fade / But we walk, and we walk, and we walk…”
“Still Light” fits the group nicely somewhere in between the lush soundscapes of London Grammar, Say Lou Lou‘s shimmering sad-pop and The xx‘s delicate guitars; a little melancholy and a little dreamy all at once.
From what I gather from the lyrics (unless I’m mishearing, which is always possible), it’s rough seas ahead for the particular relationship at hand, as the lovers weather the same hardships time again and again. (The Cardigans’ “You’re The Storm” comes to mind, from a lyrical standpoint.)
That chorus, especially, is a thing of beauty with those subtle synths at work in the background — even with those violent details: “I’m underwater, please, trying to not to breathe, slowly killing me / I can’t see, bright white lights are blinding me.”
I’m projecting, but God, those lyrics are speaking to me, not only because I’m feeling trapped in an endless news cycle, but also because my ceiling unexpectedly ripped open over the weekend, unleashing a torrent of water all over my floor like a scene straight out of Dark Water.
“I know you’re exposed, left open to the storm.” Like, #relatable. (Also, I’m sucker for anything set at sea…)
And know that if you’re feeling swept up in the waves too, you’re not treading water all alone out there.