Label: Vagrant Records
Released: 7th October 2016
It’s been three years of constant boundary pushing for Doylestown, Pennsylvania’s Balance and Composure, and the time away has revitalised them. While their debut, The Things We Think We’re Missing, drew its weight from 2011’s Separation, in 2016 we see a band whose creative flame burns even brighter than their abstract artwork.
From the first distorted buzzes of ‘Midnight Zone’, its clear that the band are heading in a new direction. The resultant shock is soon met with familiarity and comfort with ‘Spinning,’ a single, it feels, the band released to reassure their audience that they have not forgotten their roots. Despite being written about the band’s terrifying van crash, it’s not all doom and gloom, as Simmon’s vocals bring some light to the unfortunate event.
It’s evident that fans are going to be confused by their sonic progression, but Balance have always been a band who will “never make the same album twice”, as alluded to on social media earlier this summer. Light We Made is a firm reminder that evolution is the only way forward, an idea mirrored by contemporaries such as Citizen, Title Fight and Turnover.
Their proclivity toward dark and gritty themes is not left in the past with this record, however. ‘For A Walk’ is a sexually charged song with more than a hint of danger, while ‘Postcard’ depicts a hallucinatory trip, where Simmon’s vocals are monotone and empty. Having openly admitted in the past to having a deep attachment to his lyrical narratives, ‘Mediocre Love’ and ‘Call It Losing Touch’, are some of Simmon’s most personal and affecting songs to date.
The accumulation of these ten songs has not been easy. Balance have pushed their musical abilities far beyond the typical grunge and grit, but not so far so as to lose the cornerstones of their identity. The album is a perfect summary of an empty space that has now been filled.
01. Midnight Zone
04. For a Walk
05. Mediocre Love
07. Call It Losing Touch
09. Is It So Much to Adore
Words by Isha Shah