EP Review: Giant in the Lighthouse – Waving

Massachusetts alternative duo Giant in the Lighthouse met in 2014 and bonded instantly over a desire to care about something – to create more than the ironic apathy that so often permeates local music scenes.

Now, after one demo EP, the two are ready to make an official introduction to the music world through their debut EP, Waving, out June 28. It’s an eager alternative-pop collection of five songs, each of which strikes its own balance between delicate and powerful.

unnamed.jpgThere is a purity to both the duo’s music and lyrics, yet it doesn’t cross the line into naive as vocalist Peggy O’Sullivan croons about escapism, nostalgia and so much more. Her light, sweet vocals add brightness to the sudden burst of energetic piano and low guitar as she sings, “Summertime/I feel the world outside falling into line,” on “Sprinting,” and later, “Sleepwalking” features pretty layers of guitar picking underneath the same crystal-clear vocals, this time singing about summer camp.

Yet despite its childlike quality, there is also a depth to the music. Perhaps it comes from the intricate layering of musical textures – humming vocals and steady drum beats on “Frame,” for example, combat the homesickness and nostalgia in O’Sullivan’s vocals to keep the track dynamic and deep rather than simply sad (“And I wish that I could whistle something that my mother did”). The guitar picking on “Backwards,” too, is deeply resonant while still maintaining levity, a feat that prevents a straightforward melody from becoming stagnant.

“Darling” concludes the EP with the culmination of all of the previous four songs; at first, the barely-there guitar picking highlights O’Sullivan’s vocals, but the track’s surprise burst into a heavier sound parallels the opening track, though the track itself is significantly less cheerful than “Sprinting,” both musically and lyrically (“And you’ll forgive me for everything”). There is a definitive weight to the sadness embedded in this track, but a cool melody in the bridge and the refreshing honesty to the song as a whole prevent it from feeling menial.

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Photo by Olivia Edvalson.

As a whole, there is no doubt that Giant in the Lighthouse’s Waving EP is a strong debut for the band. The duo’s honesty and enthusiasm for the music are refreshing in an age where it’s cool to seem detached and apathetic, and that eagerness shines in both the relatability of their lyrics and the intricacy of their music.

Giant in the Lighthouse’s debut Waving EP will be released June 28, but in the meantime, preorder the EP or listen to its first two singles, “Sprinting” and “Frame,” via the band’s Bandcamp below.


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