Before There Were Pictures

by Pale Lights

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    15 song digipak CD. Includes all songs from Before There Were Pictures LP, and 5 bonus tracks: Waverly Place, Ghosts of Youth, She Won't Ever Calm Down, Fourteen Stories Tall, and Twisting The Knife.
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about

Another Broken Heart
Steps Through The Ruins
Port Of Shadows
These Things Happen
4 O’Clock In The Morning
~
Boy Of Your Dreams
Manhattan
Only An Ocean
Teary Eyes (1959)
The Night Tells No Lies

credits

released May 25, 2014

Recorded and mixed Summer / Fall 2013, at Marlborough Farms, by Gary Olson
Mastered by Ron Harrity at Peapod Recordings
Keyboards by Kyle Forester. Backing vocals by Suzanne Nienaber and Gary Olson
Additional percussion by Gary Olson. Keyboards on Boy Of Your Dreams by Brooke Watkins

Pale Lights on this recording are:

Andrew Adler, guitar
Lisa Goldstein, drums, vocals
Maria Pace, bass
Philip Sutton, guitar, vocals

All songs by Philip Sutton

© Calico Cat (CAL004)

Postage from the US can be expensive, so the following international stores are selling Pale Lights recordings:

FRANCE:
Hands and Arms
www.handsandarms.com/fr/indie-pop/5379-pale-lights-lp-before-there-were-pictures-.html
UNITED KINGDOM:
Pebble Records
pebblerecords.co.uk/product/pale-lights-before-there-were-pictures-calico-cat-lp/
SWEDEN
Fraction Discs,
www.fractiondiscs.se/en/lp/pale-lights-before-there-were-pictures-lp.html?logout=1

The Pale Lights debut album Before There Were Pictures was recorded by at Marlborough Farms by Ladybug Transistor’s Gary Olson. Head Pale Light Philip Sutton who has been in Comet Gain and more recently the Soft City, employs the help of Crystal Stilts bassist Andrew Adler to play guitar and solicits the talents of the Stilts Kyle Forester for some keyboard flourishes. Come to think of it, is is nearly a Cinema Red and Blue reunion minus Comet Gain’s David Feck.

Sutton who was also the Cinema Red and Blue drummer gets out from behind the drums and is front and center with his jangly guitar and friendly croon. The album picks up where their four song self-titled EP from 2012 left off. The album breezes into the room like a long forgotten friend. The elegant maudlin pop that the band excels at evokes bygone classics like Felt, Brilliant Corners, Lloyd Cole and Biff Bang Pow! Like an old friend, you feel like you already know these songs and you kind of do if you are a fan of these other bands. If you don’t it’s time to make a new friend. Say hello to the Pale Lights!
The Finest Kiss
finestkiss.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/pale-lights-brighten-the-room/

La messe est dite dès le titre introductif de Before There Were Pictures , nommé Another Broken Heart , où Pale Lights démontre une finesse mélodique digne de The Go-Betweens .
MagicRPM
www.magicrpm.com/a-lire/interview/pale-lights/sous-surveillance-25-11-2014

Highly recommended! “Before There Were Pictures” is the fab debut album by New York jangly guitar pop quartet Pale Lights (with members from Comet Gain, Crystal Stilts, Knight School and The Soft City). Ten songs (recorded and mixed by Gary Olson from The Ladybug Transistor), around half an hour of classic guitar pop, just the way it was made back in ’86-’87 – that’s really all it takes to make an old indiepop heart go boom! Phil Sutton’s Lloyd Cole-sounding voice over Felt/Cats On Fire-esque guitars… and I can hear some old school Flying Nun influences here and there, The Chills and The Bats in particular. Well, if a great record collection is all you need, then there would be far more excellent bands around. Pale Lights have got The Songs and The Melodies as well, and that’s what makes this album such a pleasure in the end.
Jörgen
Fraction Discs

Si a finales de 2014, alguien me hubiera preguntado “¿Cuál ha sido tu disco favorito de este año?”, hubiera tardado un poco en responderle: en la cosecha de la temporada pasada no aparecen registros tan rotundos como los de añadas anteriores, y sin haber sido un mal año (no creo en los “malos años”: más bien me parece que no se ha prestado la debida atención a los grupos que realmente la merecían, y en cambio andábamos todos mirando los nuevos tics de las viejas caras conocidas), supongo que ningún disco me golpeó con la contundencia necesaria. Si me hubieran hecho entonces esa pregunta, decía, lo más probable es que hubiera acabado por apuntarme al consenso general: con argumentos sólidos, pero también una pizca de concesión, supongo que “ Lost In The Dream ” de The War On Drugs hubiera sido entonces mi respuesta.

Ahora bien:

Si alguien me hiciera ahora la misma pregunta, tan sólo un mes después de cerrar el año, creo que hubiera tardado bastante más que un ratito en responder. La culpa la tiene este “ Before There Were Pictures “, que he descubierto algo tarde, si consideramos su fecha de publicación, pero que me tiene sencillamente entusiasmado. Lo firma The Pale Lights, un grupo originario de Nueva York, conformado por Phil, Lisa, Maria, Andy, y Brooke, y establecido definitivamente en un sitio delimitado por sus fronteras con The Bats, Felt, The Go-Betweens y Butcher Boy : un sitio estupendo, claro, y definitivamente austral.

El caso es que que el debut de estos neoyorquinos ha sido encumbrado sólo por medios pequeñitos y esa gente que sabe mucho de música pero no escribe en una gran revista. Después de haberlo escuchado unas cuantas (muchas, en realidad) veces, tengo claro que mejor nos iría a todos si nos fiáramos más de aquellos, y menos de las grandes publicaciones que hablan de los grupos de los que todo el mundo estaba ya hablando. Los consensos muchas veces tiene detrás una gran verdad, pero todos deberíamos permitirnos, de vez en cuando, alguna excursión fuera de la hegemonía. Y este blog , que es muy pequeñito pero aspira a la búsqueda de la excelencia (vale, lo reconozco, con algún que otro -sanísimo- chapuzón en el lodo), prefiere que los discos de esta clase lleguen, aunque sea tarde, al mayor público posible, y por tanto sean reivindicados -también desde estas páginas- como merecen.

Dicho lo cual, vamos a dar unas cuantas razones para el entusiasmo, las primeras de las cuales podrían perfectamente ser las dos que encendieron mis alarmas y avivaron mi interés. Uno: detrás del proyecto está Phil Sutton, ex-batería de la banda de culto Comet Gain. Dos: el responsable de la producción de este disco (y su anterior EP) no es otro que Gary Olson, frontman de los nunca suficientemente valorados The Ladybug Transistor. Ahora pinta mejor ¿eh? Pues atención, porque esto sólo han sido los créditos del principio: lo que nos espera en el interior del disco es indie-pop de guitarras, de ese que tan bien envasaban en sellos como Creation o Flying Nun a finales de los 80 y principios de los 90, producido cristalinamente por Olson, y ¡maldición! editado de forma exclusiva, y como mandan los cánones, en riguroso vinilo.

Esta vez no voy a empezar a desgranar las bondades de cada tema, porque no acabaría. No es uno de esos discos de “dadle una escucha a…” (¿a cuál? ¿al insuperable punteo de “ Manhattan “?… ¿Obviamos lo que me gusta “ These Things Happen “? ¿Nos saltamos lo que gustará “ Port Of Shadows ” a los seguidores del kiwi-pop ochentero? ¿Hacemos como que “ 4 O'Clock In The Morning ” o “ Boy Of Your Dreams ” no son los hits de un mundo paralelo?…): “ Before There Were Pictures ” es un discazo en el que sumergirse de principio a fin, uno de esos álbumes en los que a cada escucha sucede la percepción de estar ante un trabajo más y más grande, y que va ganándose tu confianza sin recurrir (no lo necesita) a grandes gestos. Escuchadlo íntegramente aquí . En cuanto a los amigos de las producciones bombásticas, voces impresionantes, arreglos de fantasía: esto NO es para vosotros. No pasa nada: no tiene por qué gustaros el pop tranquilo de Pale Lights, ya habrá futuros posts para las canciones desencaja-mandíbulas, aunque creedme que siento que no podáis participar de esta clase de belleza, serena, luminosa, deliciosamente doméstica.

Y para los convencidos -los habrá, seguro- que se queden con ganas de más, aún tengo buenas noticias: en este enlace podréis encontrar, en formato digital, el EP que con fecha de noviembre de 2014 publicaban los maravillosos Pale Lights. Se titula “ Fourteen Stories Tall ” y no contiene caras-b, porque por lo que se ve, sus autores no saben hacer canciones menores: la pista titular es una deliciosa joya de indie-pop que contaría con la bendición de Lawrence, “ Twisting The Knife ” es sencillamente una de las mejores canciones de 2014 (y NO, lamentablemente no estaba aquí ), y aún se cierra con una “single version” de esta “ Another Broken Heart ” que hoy recogemos aquí, que además puede descargarse gratuitamente. Se puede hacer mucho más ruido, pero no se puede hacer mejor.
The Songs We Love
thesongswelove.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/another-broken-heart-pale-lights/

Pour tous les inconditionnels de la mouvance C86, des Field Mice, The Weather Prophets ou encore des vénérées productions Sarah Records ou Flying Nun, on ne saura que trop leur conseiller de se procurer rapidement Before There Were Pictures du groupe Pale Lights. Emmenée par un ex-Comet Gain et par la voix de velours ’à la Lloyd Cole’ de Philip Sutton, croyez-nous, la musique de cette formation New Yorkaise aux origines très britanniques une fois rentrée par une oreille ne ressortira assurément pas par l’autre.
Pinkusion
www.pinkushion.com/La-selection-estivale-2014

Former drummer of the indispensable Comet Gain, founder of Kicker and my beloved The Soft City, Phil Sutton created his latest music project after his former band went on hiatus in late 2011. Fronting a band for the first time (guitars and lead vocals), he has assembled a flamboyant cast around him, first a quintet, with members of Soft City, Crystal Stilts and Knight School, releasing a self-titled debut EP in May 2012, and later on as a quartet, with whom he has now delivered first LP 'Before There Were Pictures'. A pop treaty in only 30 minutes, echoing Flying Nun and jangle-pop myths, here's a classic penned in the age of ephemeral hypes.
Raül Jiménez, Bloodbuzzed.
bloodbuzzed.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/these-go-to-11-pale-lights.html?spref=tw

"Before there were pictures" is today's soundtrack at the Okiya. Brooklyn's Pale Lights make wonderful indie pop.
Rue 14 n 14
guerrilla-stoemp.blogspot.com/2014/07/pale-lights-before-there-were-pictures.html?spref=fb

Hoy traemos una propuesta con pedigrí -para el que escribe, inmejorable-. Y es que os presentamos al último proyecto de Phil Sutton, antiguo batería de los absolutamente indispensables Comet Gain, miembro fundador de Kicker y líder de otra banda extremadamente recomendable, The Soft City.

Precisamente, el proyecto de Pale Lights comenzó en Nueva York en otoño de 2011, una vez The Soft City decidieron tomarse un descanso -de momento indefinido- y Sutton, junto a Lisa Goldstein (Knight School), Andy Adler (Crystal Stilts), Brooke Watkins y Maria Pace se pusieron manos a la obra, publicando su EP de debut, de título homónimo, producido por Gary Olson de The Ladybug Transistor, en mayo de 2012 y publicado en Calico Cat, su propio sello discográfico.

Ahora regresan en formato cuarteto, con su primer larga duración, Before There Were Pictures, destinado a ser uno de los mejores discos del año. Jangle pop pluscuamperfecto, donde cada canción es un clásico esperando a ser reconocido, en la estela de los más grandes: The Go-Betweens, Felt, Comet Gain, The Bats, The Chills. Perdérselo debería ser delito.
Indienauta
www.indienauta.com/descubre-pale-lights/

Brezze frizzanti e sottile malinconia, cuori spezzati e chitarre jangly: gli ingredienti della formula del perfetto indie-pop ci sono tutti in “Before There Were Pictures” primo album dei newyorkesi Pale Lights, band formatasi intorno a Philip Sutton (già nei Comet Gain e nei Projects) che, dopo la defezione di alcuni dei membri della sua ultima band The Soft City, ha raccolto intorno a sé altri tre musicisti, tra i quali Andy Adler dei Crystal Stilts.

Sono nati così i Pale Lights, progetto che dopo l’estemporaneo Ep omonimo risalente a due anni fa mostra quindi continuità in una vivace mezz’ora che riassume non solo l’essenza del pop d’autore che guarda con rispetto la tradizione inglese a cavallo tra anni ’80 e ’90, ma ne incarnano una delle manifestazioni più ispirate e genuine nella recente temperie di riscoperta di quei suoni e di quell’attitudine.
È proprio quest’ultima a colpire nelle dieci agili tracce di un lavoro che fin dall’iniziale “Another Broken Heart” assesta un colpo da k.o., mettendo subito in chiaro le fascinazioni estetiche della band, la scorrevolezza delle melodie e la stessa eleganza vagamente decadente delle interpretazioni di Sutton, il tutto muovendo da una tematica indie-pop per eccellenza.

C’è tutto il culto per la Sarah Records e per l’uggiosità agrodolce del Dunedin Sound in “Before There Were Pictures”, così come la lieve indole pop di canzoni che corrono spensierate su chitarre cristalline e ritmiche vivaci attingendo da una pluralità di modelli ma senza mai appiattirsi su una mera emulazione formale. Vi è, invece, tanta passione e sentimento nell’abilità della band di pennellare quadretti melodici dalle tinte pastello ma mantenuti ben distanti dalla stucchevolezza dal loro passo svelto e dalla sequenza di possibili affinità elettive che va dai Felt agli Strangelove, fino ai contemporanei Cats On Fire o Butcher Boy, ai quali ultimi è quasi impossibile non pensare, in particolare di fronte al timbro basso e all’andamento caracollante di “These Things Happen”.

Al di là del gioco dei riferimenti, in questo caso utile se non altro ad attestare una continuità con l’inesauribile linfa dell’indie-pop, la sequenza di canzoni da tre minuti di “Before There Were Pictures” costituisce una godibilissima collezione di cartoline piacevolmente sfocate, come i ricordi di un’estate sospesa nei ricordi, in una dimensione che, proprio come l’attitudine pop, travalica tempi e spazi. I Pale Lights sono qui e oggi, a New York, come sarebbero potuti essere in qualche cittadina industriale inglese di trent’anni fa: quello che per qualcuno potrebbe trattarsi di un limite, è invece proprio un attestato di eccellenza per qualsiasi inguaribile appassionato di un indie-pop orgogliosamente di retroguardia, ma animato da spirito autentico e preziosa capacità di scrittura.

Non stupitevi se vi sorprenderete a canticchiare sulle spiagge qualcuna tra le varie “Manhattan”, “Port Of Shadows”, “Only An Ocean”e “The Night Tells No Lies”: “Before There Were Pictures” è il perfetto disco indie-pop per l’estate, e non solo.
Music Won't Save You
musicwontsaveyou.com/2014/07/21/pale-lights-before-there-were-pictures/

During slow music weeks you turn to your friends, and I always know I can count on IPSML for a good jam or two. Today I bring you a track from Pale Lights that he pointed me towards, which features Phil Sutton of one of my favorite acts, Comet Gain. You’re going to get a similarly ringing guitar, and even find the vocal delivery similar. Personally, I dig the nice female vocal in the background. I’m posting this track because I love it, but you can stream the band’s whole new album, Before There Were Pictures, right HERE. It’s so good, you won’t want to have anything else on today.
Austin Town Hall
austintownhall.com/tag/before-there-were-pictures/

Another album that I’ve been listening a lot this week is that of New York’s own Pale Lights. […] But what an album this is. It’s only 30 minutes long and opens with a cracker of a song called “Another Broken Heart”. You already know what to expect in the other 9 songs. Just heartfelt jangly indiepop crafted in perfection. Highlights are “Port of Shadows” that reminds me of The Bats, their previous single “Boy of Your Dreams” that has that Felt-ish guitar, or The Chills inspired “Only an Ocean”. I don’t know what will happen in 2014, but this might be a serious contender for your next year list!

Roque Ruiz, Cloudberry Cake Proselytism: www.cloudberryrecords.com/blog/?p=2321

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Pale Lights Brooklyn, New York

Pale Lights are from New York. They are Phil Sutton, Lisa Goldstein, Andy Adler, Suzanne Nienaber. and Maria Pace.

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Track Name: Another Broken Heart
Caught by the silver light shine
As the sun begins to rise
You’ve packed your case because soon you’ll fly
To a better place and a better time
To a city that has no heart
Only downtown and uptown apart
Flying across the biblical scene
You’ll see deserts and a middle that's mean and red

I know that you’re feeling upset
I know that you’re falling apart

Shadows fall upon your face
The sun is in your eyes
A photograph with a battered case
A broken heart inside
As you leave behind the lies

You can begin again
The films will let you pretend
To live your life as it should be
Away from the small town Holy See
The glittering prize in your eyes
I know what the carapace hides
A girl sat alone, a girl in the dark
The innocence ends, and now we’re apart, alone

Western sky dividing
It leads as if you were sent
Black and white decided
But blood red in the end
Track Name: Steps To The Ruins
Walking up the steps to the ruins
They’re bathed in light
Waking up with you in a room that’s painted white
These are fleeting glimpses
These are memories living

Sitting in the garden at night
I’m watching stars
Staring at the darkness the light
It breaks apart
And I can see you reading
Through an open window

All these thoughts are second hand
They don’t belong to me
You are here forever, not gone
I think about you every day
I think about you every day

You and I are talking
You and I at home
The room is full of people
Soon we’ll be alone
What will happen next?
What will happen next?
Track Name: Port Of Shadows
Stuck in a room
This is your hideout
You need some new clothes
Some money to go away

This girl is your friend
She can help you lay low
Get a job and some time
On a ship that leaves here tomorrow

Why don’t you just save yourself my friend?
Because you know that passion is the end.

The light here is weak
And the rain it keeps pouring
And the trees never move
And the alleyways are your prison

The girl is caught up
In some kind of nightmare
And you cannot leave
You cannot leave her alone

Why don’t you just save yourself my friend?
Because you know that passion is the end.

All along you knew this was the end
You had no choice
A bullet in the back for a love affair
With a girl just like you
Happiness is fleeting
And what then?
Track Name: These Things Happen
Through the rain and lights I see
A mirror
In a storefront, a different life
I’m thinner

I walk with you
Through empty streets
I feel your touch
I feel the heat
Of your breath

And these things happen to
The ones you love
No more words or deeds
What’s done is done

The things that we have to do
The things that we have to do

The palest light
The merest slight forgotten
A push a shove
And then he’s gone
It happened

The TVs on, but no-ones in
And you complain about the din
To yourself
Track Name: 4 O'Clock In The Morning
Ghosts, they walk tall through these halls
You know exactly who they are
They won’t leave you alone

You get the fear late at night
When there's nothing to be done
Why can’t you sleep on your own?

And this is how naked you’re feeling
Exposed and alone after dark
Oh, the sadness that you harbor
Alive and still breathing hereafter
It’s 4 o’clock in the morning,
Why aren’t you sleeping?

Still up at night up at times
You are worried about your life
Where did it all go wrong?

Hidden by the light these small things
Will drag you down if you like
If you let them take a hold

4 o’clock in the morning
When the world is still sleeping
It hits and you wake up
But there is no reason
The guilt and betrayal
Like the life you’ve abandoned
When you were still a poet
When you were young and handsome

And this is how naked you’re feeling
Exposed and alone after dark
You should be sleeping and dreaming
The night and the day kept apart
Oh, the sadness that you harbor
Alive and still breathing hereafter
At 4 o’clock in the morning
Track Name: Boy Of Your Dreams
You don’t know what you’re thinking
The meter clicks, a penny drops
You’re just minutes from you meeting
You’re looking good but you are lost
And how much does the ticket cost?

Take the subway to the city
You see a friend and you both smile
Then she leaves and you’re lonely
You were happy for a while
And you think, but you don’t dial

Make yourself up
Drag yourself out
Spend the evening
With a boy you don’t care about

See the boy at the bus stop
He’s the one you’re supposed to love
Thinks that he’s so special
He’s sent from up above
You just hope that he’s not dumb.

Make yourself up
Drag yourself out
Spend the evening
With a boy you don’t care about

Everything’s turning to dust
Well you should go if you must
Everything’s turning to dust
Well you should go if you must
Track Name: Manhattan
While you’re living in Manhattan
Nothing good will ever happen
Join me across the river
You know you should live here

Break off all ties today
Think of all the friends that you could make
You’re feeling so lonely
I wish that you’d get to know me

Strange days wondering
All alone with your view
See me waiting
Across the East River
I will be here
For you

While you’re living in Manhattan
Nothing good will ever happen
Join me across the river
I wish that you would live here
Track Name: Only An Ocean
It’s only an ocean it can’t stop me
It’s only a moment that holds me back
I can see you on the shoreline
I can see you waving back

I am drifting on the water
I am waiting, what will I catch?
Going nowhere round in circles
Bobbing slowly, I can’t get back

All my dreams are driftwood
Abandoned on the shore
I wish you’d come and save me
If only I’d known you then

The sun is shining on the water
The sun it dazzles and I’m blind
Let me know when I can call you
I am waiting for the tide

You know, what happens next
Leaving an empty wreck
Falling for someone
That never knew your name
Falling for someone
Who lives alone like you do
That never cared like I do
Track Name: Teary Eyes (1959)
Everything in this room’s real
Everything in your head dreams
Go outside and get yourself a job

Is there room in outer space?
Could we ever give a you place?
It’s not for you, you don’t belong to that crowd
No matter how you kick and cry out loud

You were born working class
How you have the nerve to ask
Get out of this room
Come back next year, please son
I’ll sign you up for something you won’t love

Every dream in your head died
Didn’t I tell you not to cry?
A tear wells up in your eye and they laugh
Well I suppose you had to ask
Track Name: The Night Tells No Lies
A mother would hang
On the cross for her boy
She has nothing
So she has no choice
Just a dusty road
And a long walk home

To a room unloved where
The curtains are torn
They gave up the ghost
Like the scene they adorn
It’s the cemetery view
And a life that’s through

The night tells no lies
It conceals
The pain, and the trials
And the truth it reveals who you are
As your past catches up, breaks your heart
It breaks your heart

A dream of a life
In a town you can see
Just out of reach
Overlooking the sea
It’s what you want
Just what everybody’s got

You’ll go out walking
In the warm summer night
The churches in ruins
As they ruined your life
Because you had no choice
Oh, because you have no voice

The evil we do
Along the highway
You’d better walk straight
And do things that way
Innocent lives
Get lost pretending
When all you want
Is a better ending
You’ll find out why