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Of Shadows and Lights - Poems From The Edge (self-released)

13 January 2024

Some artists seem to choose a genre and stick to it, following all of the rules and regulations that come with the territory. Others often flit between sound and style, unfocused and seemingly unsure of what they are trying to say, both sonically and lyrically speaking. “Poems From The Edge” is the sound of an artist finding a third way.

Rome-based multi-instrumentalist Of Shadows and Lights gives us four songs that wander the musical landscape, evolving and changing as required but always conforming to a signature sound of the artist’s own design.

I guess pop-rock would be a good term to ground the music found here, but it is perhaps what is avoided rather than what is drawn from those genres that makes the songs work so well. The ability to swerve rock’s bombast and cliche as well as pop’s transient fashions and often throwaway nature while embracing those genres better qualities is apparent. Qualities such as the robust song construction and authenticity from the former and infectiousness and instant accessibility of the latter.

Opener, “On The Ledge” is a slow-burning slice, growing from brooding electronica and skittering drum patterns into more guitar-driven grooves, a brave way to start, ignoring the sonic sucker-punch that most artists would open with, but the perfect way to lay out the sonic stall – composed, controlled and sonically concise.

And if “Unbecoming” leans into a more rock sound, it is in turn balanced by the gentler, piano-led tones of “Into The Silence,” and a fantastic, staccato delivery rounds off the EP, an excellent pop-rock-groover in the form of “Emerge,” a song that has “chart-hit” written all over it.

Of Shadows and Light makes music that ticks a lot of boxes. Weighty enough to keep the rockers happy, instantaneous enough to get the pop-pack dancing, and filled with enough maturity and depth that any discerning music fan will find plenty to love here.