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Ten Million Lights, a four-piece from Portland, Oregon that play noisy, dreamy shoegaze, have just released the LP Into Nothing September 22, 2023. It’s a poignant musical journey that leads us through the struggles of navigating a world with unsure footing into a place of catharsis and release. It all starts with the song “Swaying,” about choosing a pathway and then dropping down a hole into the unknown following a rabbit with a bit of a dark sense of humor and a few tricks up its sleeves.
The video for “Swaying” captures some of the sights of the band’s beloved North Portland neighborhood, along with a playfulness that belies the levity of the heavy track. “The idea was to do a bit of a love letter to St. Johns, where we rehearse and record,” said guitarist Eric Block. “Everything was shot there. Near the end, we did a couple goofball takes that were never meant to see the light of day. Once we started adding that footage into the video, our vibe began to reveal itself. We take our music quite seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously at all.”
On record, Into Nothing continues with the guitar squalor of the extended “Swaying” harkening back to The Verve’s early psychedelic work, to the more subdued “Snowdrift,” which starts delicately and ends in a storm. “Irreverence” and “Cherry Sun” are full of fuzzy bass runs and cracking drums. “Wilder” and “Shaky Man” offer more ethereal ambiance, before the album closes with “Hot Water,” in which Ten Million Lights move across a span of emotions, until singer/guitarist Ryan Carroll implores us at the end to “be kind to one another and love yourself.”
“There’s too much negativity in the world,” explains Carroll. “Music has the power to lift people up, even in dark times.”
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