Canadian band We Are Ardent is releasing the EP Bright Shadows from Dark Lights in November. The six numbers from the EP are certainly “ardent”—they are enthusiastic and burn with passion. Josh Brazeau (guitar, vocals, bass), Kat Kerley (vocals, kalimba), Matt Dalton (bass, guitar), and Justin Brazeau (drums) have put together a set that provides listeners with well-executed, familiar sounds with unique twists that makes them stand out.
Bright Shadows from Dark Lights opens with “Low”, an alternative rock, heavy electric guitar-led melody which accompanies dual male and female vocals; the former is gritty and contrasts well with the latter’s more crystalline tone. The lyrics are empowering, of the “this too, shall pass” mindset, with the chorus promising: “Feel low/Sometimes/That’s all right/You’ll be fine.” The same electric guitar leads the way into “Young and Giants”, of similar build but with a different sound. It feels that there could have been a lot more power in this track, but something is holding the band back. It seems to be an ode to hopefulness and action that defined their younger years, when they “were young”, “were giants”, and “were lost” but “at least trying”. These lyrics are bound to make older generations think about what happened to their drive and ambition, and perhaps rekindle it.
The balance between the two sets of vocals is tipped in favor of the male ones in “Quiet Like Noise” which come off as husky and throaty. The band makes use of a kalimba in this song, a thumb piano from the southern parts of Africa. In contrast, “Vultures” puts the focus on the female vocals in a ballad like number led by plucked electric guitars. Despite some very dark lyrics—such as “Palpable misery/Air of despair/Pleasantry’s history/Long past repair”—there is a sense of power within the melody that leaves listeners with a sense of hope.
The slow burn of lead single “The Time Is Now” continues after the track is over. Starting off with a melody plucked on the kalimba, it builds up with an electric guitar, drums, and female vocals—which, although accompanied by the male ones, are the centrepiece of “The Time Is Now”. The EP closes off with “Nameless”, a rocking grunge number with a throbbing beat that features the male vocals once again. Despite the darkness of the themes in the EP, Bright Shadows from Dark Lights manages to stay somehow upbeat and optimistic. Tracks are available for streaming on SoundCloud. More information about the band is available on their official website and Facebook page.