"Guitar-flecked electro at its most hypnotic and sublime" Sunday Times
”Unfettered adrenalin rush” MOJO (4/5)
“Fun with a capital ‘F’, but there are moments of gravitas too. Not easy to do that” NME (8/10)
Light in Your Mind is the first new material from CYMBALS in 2 years, and their first album since 2014. If the wait seems long for the listener, for those involved in its creation the time in between pulls in a lifetime of unexpected experiences. That Light In Your Mind even exists is a testament to not giving in.
Since their inception, CYMBALS line up has been subject to a great deal of change. Amidst that change there has always existed the songwriting duo of Jack Cleverly and Dan Simons, who formed the band in 2011 with the sole intention of “having fun”.
A noble aspiration, but one that became increasingly hard to realize when the realities of a 9-5 existence started to corrosively rub against the expectations of being in a band that wanted to tour the world. At various points over the last 6 years and across 3 albums, a rotating cast of at least 10 other people have formed some version of CYMBALS.
More still have contributed to Light In Your Mind - Justin Goings and Josh Hefferman both provide drums, while Alabaster DePlume plays saxophone on ‘Fully Automated Luxury’. Producer Kristian Robinson (Capitol K) is a major presence across the album and played a key role in guiding the transition from the band’s sound on their previous record to this one.
The music itself possesses a sedimentary quality, a residue of each contributing member compressed into what it is that band have become. Consistent throughout has been the relationship between Cleverly and Simons. Failing relationships, betrayal, addiction, illness: the emotional challenges were huge.
Thankfully, they were not insurmountable. Second track ‘Car Crash’ addresses that period head-on, a typically effervescent synth line from Simons disguising lyrical content that traverses that fine line between blind arrogance and tortured self-loathing. Like all the best CYMBALS songs, it deals in unexpected contrasts.
Much the same can be said of the structure of the album as a whole, eclectically comprised of melodically memorable pop songs ('Car Crash', 'Talk To Me'), bucolic instrumentals ('My Body', 'Numbers') and longer, pensive songs that explore the space in between ('ASMR', 'I Thought I Knew You'). As final track ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ concludes, a synth loop first heard on the opening track is subtly re-introduced, completing a circle of sorts.
2. Car Crash
3. Talk To Me
4. I Thought I Knew You
5. My Body (Winter Mix)
6. Where Nothing Can Be Defined
8. Euphoric Recall
10. Fully Automated Luxury
11. Lifetime Achievement Award