Wesley Eisold is dark, brooding and artistic. He’s also intensely aware that he’s dark, brooding and artistic. This occasional heavy handedness limited the range and appeal of his Cold Cave debut Love Comes Close.
After a few years of touring, Eisold has a new found vocal confidence that evokes Ian Curtis and Peter Murphy, yet also has the melody of Talk Talk‘s Mark Hollis or David Gahan. He’s also expanded his somewhat minimalist synthpop template and blown it open with a wall of sound.
The prime example is “The Great Pan Is Dead,” which was released as a free download last month.
That audio assault opens Cherish The Light Years. From there, “Confetti” dials it back a few notches with an early Nine Inch Nails synth bassline and the excellent lyric “I feel guilty being alive when so many beautiful people have died”:
The album’s anthem has got to be “Underworld USA” with a chorus of wailing guitars and Eisold’s mournful cries:
“Villains Of The Moon” is the album closer. Venturing into New Order territory, it’s a suitably epic ender:
Perhaps this old waver is a little too sentimental — or easily pandered to — but Cherish The Light Years is one of the most affecting and fully realized synthpop albums to come out in some time. Eisold may be too brooding and atonal for some, but Cold Cave is here to stay.
Stream the whole album here.