Always a band to continually progress forwards and also a band so in rapture of storm clouds that they will surely someday drown in a sea of their own melancholy, Labasheeda nudge their stylistic influences a touch closer to America with their new album “Changing Lights”.
This is a serious sounding album with little of the levity that radio demands these days but that is perhaps the plan for, over the course of these twelve songs, a feeling of directed spirituality develops. Even in the more commercial moments, and “My Instincts” will keep many a Seattle indie rock fan happy, the band’s outlook nonetheless seems religiously bleak with further reinforcement being provided by the oblique, near art rock, guitar stylings of “Fifty Nine”.
The guitar remain much to the fore throughout this album often overpowering the anguished voice of Saskia van der Giessen but not, however, in songs like “Wasteland” where she sounds like she is a folk songstress trying to vault the high walls of some urban prison. That escape to a better life vibe also pervades the lively “Circles” and, although it’s not quite San Francisco in 1968, you could see Labasheeda making their mark in that time and space.
“Changing Lights” is Labasheeda’s most difficult album to date in terms of accessibility. Driven persistently into the shadows by the downbeat guitars, it would have been easy to dismiss it as yet more depressing European art rock. The album’s saving grace, however, is that Labasheeda’s heart clearly beats to the drum of ethereal exultation and that, in itself, should be enough to turn discerning listeners into believers.
The album will also available on vinyl from the band's website and from Presto Chango Records.