Review: The Ambient Light – Nostalgia Trip [Deluxe Edition]

Californian post-rock outfit The Ambient Light have re-released their debut LP, Nostalgia Trip this month and added some extra tracks to make a ‘deluxe’ edition. Nostalgia Trip now boasts five extra tracks – three previously unreleased from the band’s first EP, a B-side and a forthcoming remix. The addition of these songs helps to make Nostalgia Trip a more rounded and complete record, seamlessly fitting into the existing record and creating an atmospheric and involving experience.

It’s difficult to speak about Nostalgia Trip in terms of individual tracks because the entire record feels like one entire piece. This is by no means a negative – instead, you have the perfect soundtrack to a summer evening party, from sunset to glittering starlight. Shifts in tempo work perfectly as the album goes from more upbeat tracks to slower burners, and for someone who normally needs vocals to tie a record together, I was left completely enthralled by their craft. In order for post-rock to work, you need to have a certain command over your instruments or you’re left with something pretty mediocre, but The Ambient Light are able to tell a story without words. Of course, there’s plenty of musical highlights peppered throughout – in Engram, the funky bass brings the party to life and there’s some sweet keys to boot and Everything Up Until Now… has some jaw droppingly beautiful soaring guitar lines. That’s just to name a couple, and there are many, many more. Nostalgia Trip is the perfect name; inside these elegant sonic landscapes, there’s a great deal of potential for reflection and a sense of memory embedded within each track.

Nostalgia Trip wouldn’t sound completely out of place on your favourite American teen drama, and comparisons can be drawn to Minus The Bear, Explosions In The Sky and This Will Destroy You, but The Ambient Light are more than that. Via a pay-what-you-want format on their Bandcamp page, this re-release of Nostalgia Trip will certainly command the LP the attention it deserves as well as adding plenty to an already beautiful album.

4 out of 5 high fives!

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