REVIEW: A “Golden” gem for a new age of music

Press Photo by Kathryn Hancock. From L to R: Michelle Ashley, Randy Schulte, Ryan Daly, Anthony Improgo.
Press Photo by Kathryn Hancock.
From L to R: Michelle Ashley, Randy Schulte, Ryan Daly, Anthony Improgo.

By Cliff Djajapranata, Staff–

In the musical realm where the medium seems to be consistently disrespected with near blasphemous compilations of so-called art laced with profanity and thousands of “Wrecking Balls,” it is rare to find music that carries a sophisticated yet authentic voice.

The Parade of Lights’ new EP, “Golden,” gives us such a voice. With a youthful and electronic sound, the Parade of Lights has truly kicked off its relatively young career with this alternative and indie-like style of music.

Started in January 2012, the Parade of Lights consists of Ryan Daly, Anthony Improgo, Michelle Ashley and Randy Schulte. Despite its only recent inception, it can’t help but be said that “Golden” brings a sound reminiscent of the ‘80s, a sound well appreciated.

The EP starts off with an upbeat song, “Golden,” whose fast pace and catchy chorus, “Everybody get golden,” start the record off strong; this track is a feel-good song that contributes to the overall free spirited tone of this four-track EP.

“Golden” also brings a sound that is similar to “Rebel Beat” by the Goo Goo Dolls in their album, “Magnetic.” This connection ultimately symbolizes the bridge between the Parade of Lights’ alternative, synthetic sound with the traditional rock that the Goo Goo Dolls brings.

The second track, “We’re the Kids,” builds off of the EP’s strong start. A short song just shy of three minutes, “We’re the Kids” brings a juvenile tone to the EP— of course, the title is a dead giveaway. The synthetic sounds blended in with the continual percussion keeps the musical flow moving that can’t help but make listeners just want to dance, just like all of the other tracks in “Golden.”

“The Island” contrasts with the first two songs, as it keeps the fast rhythm but at a much softer volume and less of a forceful impact. However, that all changes within a minute when it reveals the more upbeat side the Parade of Lights that is seen throughout the rest of “Golden.” This song fits well with the other songs of the EP because it preserves the overarching vibrant feel of “Golden” while also showing the other strengths the Parade of Lights has in softer dynamics.

The last track of “Golden,” “Burn,” is also similar to “The Island” in that it has fluctuating dynamics, underscoring the times when it is exciting and vivacious. The second-long crescendo from silence to an accented punch at the beginning of the track only adds to what is most certainly the best track of “Golden.” Also, the electric guitar, or at least the guitar-like sound, that can be heard in “Burn” exemplifies the Parade of Lights’ mastery in incorporating tints of rock into its works.

Parade of Lights may still not be an icon in the music industry, but with “Golden,” it would not be surprising if this fantastic entourage rose to fame in the same way alternative rock band Imagine Dragons ascended into greatness just a few years ago. Parade of Lights’ adroit practices in finding the perfect blend between alternative, electronic and rock genres give it an idiosyncratic voice in the music industry that should definitely not be ignored.

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