Finger snaps, some sub-bass and a whopping great meaty synth riff at the top of the track mark out City Lights as something confident and rather special.
With a softly-sung, soulful vocalist that sounds a bit like Scritti Politti’s Green Gartside, Cardiac Half have sculpted a sensual electro-pop banger here, complete with a cracking video to accompany it.
All of the sounds that this duo have employed have been carved with their own space in a mix that’s bouncy, swagger-filled yet laid-back all at the same time. It’s a sonic delight and smacks of huge confidence in the writing. And rightly so. A smart arrangement means the flavour is forever changing, yet we still get led back to that big meaty riff which gets stuck in your brain like… well, like something damn sticky! It provides the musical answer to the question asked by the main lyric of the chorus.
However, for me, the lyric that perfectly encapsulates the mood and thrust of the composition is ’Kiss me and sparks will fly / Brighter than the city lights’: how true! First or fresh love described with the comparison to city lights makes a refreshing contemporary change from the usual suspects of sun and stars!
The beautiful, glistening and clean production creates the perfect backdrop for the narrative, and some smart decisions around the mix and vocal capture, double-tracking and reverbs all compliment City Lights. Long may we bask in them, when they sound this lush and opulent.