You know the music the beach happens to make or cause when you see it, hear it, feel it or are even just able to be around it? It’s the sound that everyone from surf bands, to The Beach Boys, to No Age have all tried to create. And most definitely, this is something that most argue would be subjective. I mean, you have Santana’s guitar and the way it sounded back in the 70s, or even something Neil Young wrote when his guitar was still being shredded, or whatever new surf act you’re following sounds like. It’s hard to be creative with it anymore, let alone be innovative, and it’s a lost art that few bands are even willing to attempt.
Now take someone like Sweden’s The Amazing and let them work their magic. They share members of Dungen, bringing along guitarist and drummer Reine Fiske and Johan Holmegard respectively and, along with Christoffer Gunrup and Fredrik Swahn, have made an outstanding album with Wait for a Light to Come. The movements of music that propel these six songs are subtle and still, rooted in the lightness of life. Imagery is an easily identifiable facet but if there’s one thing about The Amazing that is obvious from the outset, is that with “Evil” and “And it Looks Like Today”’s folk tendencies, this is a lilting affair but slowly and surely, it only gets better.
When studying the cover art, the dark is bleak and foreshadows a gloominess that never seems to come. When you open it, you have the shadows of palm trees in what appears to be a sunset at the beach and that’s when it all comes together. These are the sound scapes of what happens after the sun sets: the tranquility of the waves, the instances where everything seems to die down and pick up again and even, the moments where a few passerbys walk by and just marvel in its vision. The band is heard in choral unison on the ending song, the title track “Wait for a Light to Come,” and it provides the image of everyone waking up, to the simple tune of an acoustic guitar, waiting for the sun to rise – it’s affective and downright superb.
And at even just six songs in length, there is nothing speedy about their delivery. The songs are presented as what they are, six pieces of music that make up one tightly wrapped album. Even through its composure, its musicians make everything sound loose and fresh, especially when they start to jam out. “Defect” is the album’s hardest-hitting song, the one that’s choppier around the sides and bursting at the seams with energy. The opening three minutes are light and dressed with summery vocals before Fiske takes over with his guitar solo. Delving deep into virtuosity, the guitar is amplified but always melodic and in tune to what the harmonics are doing around him; it juxtaposes the call and response progressive rock vibe of “Islands,” another standout.
The ending solution is one that refreshingly finds a band fully-secured, fully-aware and fully-able of making rousing music. It might not be the most unique of sounds but The Amazing have, without a doubt, offered up an invitingly strong re-creation of what the beach sounds like to them. The outside may seem dark and hardly recognizable but at the core of this band is a stellar amount of craft that goes beyond their years. Wait for a Light to Come is both a welcome and welcoming start to anyone’s summer.