Paper Lights emerges as a fully realized project in their debut album Great Escapes.
Paper Lights is an Atlanta based group, helmed by Dan Snyder, that excels in composing cinematic pop-rock. Their style relies on atmospheric synth sounds alongside experimental electronics and unique percussion arrangements. Great Escapes is their debut full-length album, and it is preceded by three EP’s, one of which found a place on our Best of 2015 list from last December. They are currently running a PledgeMusic pre-order campaign which will run until the album officially releases on March 15th.
In Great Escapes, Paper Lights matures in leaps and bounds, and Dan Snyder finds himself in a more clear-cut role of a frontman. Snyder is in the foreground of these songs. His definitive style is evident, and his vocal performances are more confident and dynamic than before. The lyrics cover interesting themes using wilderness imagery in a way that’s creative and directly conveys their ideas.
Album highlights include “Everything Takes Time” — a booming and exuberant anthem that’s deserving of a stadium performance — and album-closer “This Mountain is My Chapel,” which delivers Snyder’s most spiritual lyrics set to a rising, atmospheric composition that cements the experience of the album in the listener’s being.
The only criticism I have — albeit minor — is that the ground that Great Escapes treads isn’t terribly unfamiliar. That being said, Paper Lights executes this album very well.
Paper Lights has always been on the cusp of something outstanding. In the aforementioned post concerning their EP We Are Arrows, I said that it “feels like there’s something small missing that would push it farther up this list, but I can’t quite put a finger on it. I expect that this element—whatever it is – will be present in Paper Lights’ debut full-length, Great Escapes.” I’m pleased to say that my prediction was correct.
Great Escapes is by far the finest work put out by Dan Snyder and his bandmates. Clever and unique arrangements and lyrics form a brilliant debut that is full of texture and establishes the band as one worthy of attention in the alt-pop scene.
Hop on board Paper Lights’ PledgeMusic campaign to get an instant download of this excellent album before the official release. They’ve got some pretty great merch available, too, including vinyl, apparel, and signed posters. Then, of course, check out the band on their social media.