Lighthouse Sessions is the debut EP from Denver’s D.C. Myers, and while it’s a dark catalogue of a sad man alone in a room with his electronics, it’s also one of the most engaging, smart and fun records to come out of Colorado in months.
Myers stands out in both the electronic music scene and the pop songwriting world. The descending / ascending chord progression in the bridge of “Blood for Blood” is a prime example of what he knows well: club music is at its best when good musicianship sneaks into the four-on-the-floor kicks. Stimulate the more sophisticated neurons of those goths and their black-leather-clad hips will follow.
Top level production and arrangements aside, Myers himself provides the essential element to any great recording. Like it or not, every piece of software and vintage gear in the world can’t compensate for a lead vocal that just isn’t there. Lucky for Depeche Mode and Miike Show fans, Meyers’ delivers a crisp, pointed tenor, boldly leading his synth-thick, eyelined army-of-one with accessible honesty.
“Destined To Suffer” is the strongest nod to old-school stylings alá Pet Shop Boys, and it’s great fun. In contrast, “Cursed” stops the disco ball with a slogging, synth wash leaning towards Ramstein or the crossover theatricality of MUSE. It’s the only non-dancey moment on the EP, drenched in a synthesised choir drone and lyrics like “Can’t hear what I’m askin’ while I’m layed down in a casket.” (So goth!) Beautifully arranged backup vocals respond, and Myers’ signature, ear-catching chord progressions flesh out the drama.
The synth syncopation on “Dear Departed” (the EP’s first single and video) exemplifies Myers’ subtle, musical trickery. Sparse strums and staccato chugs of electric guitar follow, filling out the orchestration as Myers laments of shadows, death and lonely souls. The EP’s central voice continually calls from beyond the grave, and though the theme is consistently morbid, Myers somehow makes your head bop to the beat.
“Rapture” feels like latter day New Order, offering a proper closing Lighthouse Sessions. It sets a futuristic Tron-like landscape for Myers’ layered vocals to speed along, leaving neon light trails along the darkened dance floor behind him.