Debut albums always have a special feeling around them. Usually, the musician would be inspired by something – an event or a realization, personal or global, and they channel that inspiration to create their music. Although the experience for a new musician on their debut is fresh, the audience is able to sense the passion and relate to it. This explains why the general public tends to express preference towards “earlier works” of many bands over music created after an established career. Fans would always relate more to music generated from inspiration over music created for the sake of creating music.
‘Only Death Makes Icons’ is a debut album, created as a result of inspiration from an event, except that the musicians who created it both already have a huge experience due to their respective work with the bands they have been in for a long time. And the result, as expected, is an album with the passion and honesty of a debut, but with the music quality of expert musicians.
Eszter Anna Baumann and Dave Knobel, known respectively for Ann My Guard and Outside Revelation joined their musical forces together as Light by the Sea to release ‘Only Death Makes Icons’, an album that, if you neither knew is a debut nor noticed the concept weaving the songs together, might seem like a collection of greatest hits for a veteran band.
The production of the music played a huge role in presenting the well-written material in the shape of a great record. From the very first second of the opening instrumental track, ‘A Transition in Time’, we feel like a portal in time and space has opened towards another world that will be defined through the coming songs. And then we can move through 10 beautiful tracks of quality music.
You cannot sit back and relax listening to ‘Only Death Makes Icons’, at least not for the first couple of times. Every song has a challenge for your perception. It isn’t avant-garde if it doesn’t challenge your senses. The lyrics perfectly capture the concept of icons that the duo was inspired by in a poetic sense that you can empathize with. And the lyrics are covered by layers of exciting music. The variety between instruments used and contrast between hard and softer melodies all serve the purpose of creating this 3-5 minutes long space where we can live the story we are being told.
My favourite songs on ‘Only Death Makes Icons’ are Little Jeane and Eleanor. I feel like those two songs carry the essence of everything I talked about in this review. What are your favourite songs on the new Light by the Sea album? Feel free to tell us in the comments below. And if you haven’t heard the album, yet, here’s a link below to stream on Spotify.