Parhelia – First Light

First Light

Instrumental music is a tough style for many people to relate to. With no vocals to be had you are either going to find yourself disinterested or sucked in to the music. There isn’t much middle ground, because let’s face it – if you think of instrumental music as background noise you aren’t likely to slip the disc in more than once in a blue moon. So, instrumental music has to be engaging enough to keep your attention and that can be a tough feat to accomplish.

Irish quartet Parhelia is well on its way to achieving this goal. First Light is the group’s third self-released EP; the first two were recorded under the band’s previous name, Revile, and this is their first as Parhelia. The foursome features bass, drums, and two guitar players – one of which also dabbles in samples. The first thing you will notice about Parhelia is that the four members are quite adept musicians and they play well together.

The EP opens with the title track, which corresponds beautifully with the cover art. It seems Parhelia is attempting to catch that delicate moment between nighttime and daybreak in the songs here. “First Light” comes on quietly and then slowly and softly builds in intensity. Next up is “A Second Changes Everything” is very laidback and features a bit of atmospheric electronica. This one reminds me of the soundtrack to one of those time lapse videos of a flower blooming. The sound gets a bit more progressive on “Cloudbreak” and this track finds Parhelia experimenting with sound a bit more. “Ebb/Flow” and “Waves Turn” round out the EP with more soft, carefully crafted rock.

An EP with only five tracks seems the way to go for Parhelia, as I believe anything longer than five or six songs might be a bit much at this point in the members’ careers. I want to see these guys continue on this path, but also reach further into their imaginations for inspiration. I like the theme on First Light, but I think Parhelia can take it one step further. This is a great debut EP under the new moniker and I’m looking forward to bigger and better things from this group.