Grab this bliss. Eleven33’s Chasing Light has been tapping my happy button every time it comes up over the many months it’s been waiting for this review. Rob Fleming’s blend of post-rock and electronics has a bright, narrative edge–call it cinematic, since he does, and he’s right–that’s utterly infused with feel-good. He says that the music is “sequenced in a way that take the listener on a journey and there’s a real flow to it all … Innocence, hope, heartbreak, darkness, resilience, and triumph…” And believe me, you’ll feel it all, yes you will. Mostly, though, Fleming treats his listeners to energetic, hook-loaded post-rock potency that begs you to take it out for a drive at high speed and maximum volume. It’s very alive and very thoughtful. While the album opens brightly in the brief-but-beautiful, piano-lead “First Light,” the first big charge comes on the album’s second track, “Hope Hurts.” Stepping off from quiet phrasing on keys, it rises with the arrival of guitar into a heartfelt roar of emotion. It’s got a solid post-rock flavor with just a hint of pop easiness to it. A real attention-getter, but where Fleming absolutely dials me in is with the chugging, techno-accented groove of “Undercurrent.” Cool guitar lines cross and float crisply over a synth pulse. Just catchy as hell, melodic and invigorating. He also hits moments of soaring beauty: “Beacons” carries a ring of hope, riding on vocal pads, flashing guitar reminiscent of U2’s Edge, and a stirring shine of optimism. Throughout the album, Fleming shows that he knows the value of a good break, pulling back his intensity at times to give his listeners a bit of a breather before firing it straight back up for maximum effect.
I have listened to Chasing Light many, many times over the last several months, and I’ve never grown tired of it. On its own it’s a consistently amazing listen, varied enough to hold my attention without straying too far at any given point from the noticeable base framework that forms Fleming’s style. So it can be familiar, but never repetitively so. Throw this into a shuffle, and its undeniable brightness and energy pops in like a fresh shot of feel-good every time, every song. A great release all around, one that will stay in my personal permanent rotation. Get it now, and get happy.
Available from the Eleven33 web site.