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Friday, December 06, 2013

"Love Can Save A Thousand Lives"

Available on iTunes
Last Christmas I was gifted with an album by Neverending White Lights called Act I: Goodbye Friends of the Heavenly Bodies.  (Thanks David and Lisa!)  I fell in love with it. It sounded like the soundtrack to my dreams.  I listened to it over and over again, and my ever-patient husband never once complained about me hitting repeat for the 80 billionth time. 

And of course, since it was titled "Act I", I wondered if there were other albums and, sure enough, there are - Act II: The Blood and the Life Eternal and Act III: Love Will Ruin (Part 1).  I didn't wait for someone to gift me the other two. I bought them and obsessively listened to all three.

I realized today that here we are, a year later, and I'm still listening to them.

Sure, I listen to other stuff. In fact, I like all different kinds of music, and my iTunes list reflects it.  But I kept gravitating back to these three albums and, if I had to guess, I would say I've listened to them at least once a week, every week, for the last year.  I won't go so far as to declare "that album saved my life" as people often do, but I can tell you, this music definitely soothed my heart, the way "music soothes a savage beast".  (And yes, I know I just referred to my heart as a savage beast. What can I say?  It's been a rough year...)

I want to recommend the albums to you, but I find I'm struggling to describe the musical style.  I've heard the band described as everything from alternative-rock, pop, pop rock, indie, and ethereal-alternative. I suppose it all depends on which song you are listening to.  The music can be quiet and moody one minute, then it can rock hard with a good beat the next minute.  It is introspective, and a little bit goth, but still life-affirming; it can be very sweeping and cinematic but also very tender and intimate.  The songs know how to breathe.  I know, the more I try to describe it, the more scattered the style sounds but, trust me, it works.

Photo courtesy of NeverendingWhiteLights.com
Recording artist and producer Daniel Victor is the brains behind the band.  He writes the songs and plays most of the instruments, and calls in different guest artists, depending on what the song needs. So there's a nice balance of diversity yet consistency.  It's a collaborative project and each song is a mini-gem, sparkling on its own, within the greater story of the album.  Yes, the albums tell a story. (And you know I love a good story!) They are concept albums with larger themes that tie them all together.

But I have to warn you, there's an unfortunate side-effect to listening to these albums. If you're like me, it spurs you to hunt down, sample, and purchase music from the other bands or artists he collaborates with.  Not a bad way to discover new music (just budget your money accordingly).

It was hard to pick just one song to feature here, but I always seem to come back to this particular video - "The Grace" from Act I.  I think my steampunk lords and ladies will appreciate the Victorian flair. Enjoy!


Footnote:  The title of this article is a lyric taken from the Neverending White Lights song "The World Is Darker".