Album Review: Valerio Lysander – We Are Like Coloured Moths Towards The Sunlight

In a world that’s ever-so-harsh, sometimes the only way to cope is by appreciating beautiful things, no matter what form that appreciation comes in: art, people, food, music, et cetera.

With his latest album, We Are Like Coloured Moths Towards The Sunlight, hereby referred to as Coloured Moths for short, London-based singer-songwriter Valerio Lysander has created exactly the pretty indie pop album to soothe the grating world around him.

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Everything about Coloured Moths is lush. From Lysander’s strong, smooth vocals to the downright beautiful piano and guitar melodies, every single element of the music is rich and vibrant. The occasional background horns or violin add a deep, romantic touch, and the whole album feels like velvet.

Lysander shows off his vocal range on the album, slipping easily from his chest voice to a falsetto. Whether’s he’s belting “Be just like the moon that shines inside the room,” on the opening track, “The Moon”, or crooning in a gentle falsetto on “Hymn”, the tone is strong and clear, never faltering once over the course of 13 songs. 

The album is all very pretty, but every once in a while, a song doesn’t fit quite right. Sometimes, it is too electronic-sounding or poppy, and it doesn’t align with the luxuriant sounds of the rest of the album, like “If You Were Me You Would Be” or “The Prince”. The tracks are still quality indie pop but are too different to blend with the rest of the gentle album. Instead of publishing this album with 13 tracks, Lysander could have saved some songs for a different release on which they would make more sense.

Despite the occasional inconsistency in sound, Coloured Moths is honest music; Lysander sings about joy and love with genuine songwriting and a crystal-clear narrative. “I’m Screwed”, one of the album’s singles, is a song about developing a crush as a form of escapism – and later realizing how that is unhealthy. In contrast, “Cotton” is low and sad, and Lysander croons powerful lyrics about feeling as if he is “nothing more than flesh”. 

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Photo by Adrian Cano Photography.

The sheer beauty of Coloured Moths makes it a standout in the music world. The sixth track, Comme Une Rivière, is my personal favorite and models the album well: its delicate piano and Lysander’s impressive vocal range serve to complement each other, and the French lyrics only add to the feeling of grace on the short-yet-sweet ballad. Simply put, it is a refreshing, gorgeous album. 

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