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Parade of Lights Releases New EP 'Born To Live, Born To Love' [Review]


Given Los Angeles' rich musical history, abundance of talent and its fresh ocean breeze filled with hope and dreams, it should come as no surprise that the city continues to be a rich breeding ground for exciting new pop music . After introducing you to newcomers like Kitten, Y LUV, Blondfire, ZZ Ward, Meg, Capital Cities, Youngblood Hawke and DWNTWN, synth-pop duo Parade of Lights is another hot act that is quickly emerging from Los Angeles' thriving music scene.

Parade of Lights is the teaming of Ryan Daly and Anthony Improgo who describe their music as "equal parts rock, new wave, and shoegaze to create a unique blend of 80's influenced pop drawing on inspiration from artists like U2, Depeche Mode, M83, and even Madonna." The group just released their new EP, titled "Born To Live, Born To Love," that perfectly details their distinct musical vision.

The group's official bio describes that shortly after meeting in 2006, Daly and Improggo formed the band Polus. Together they released an EP that get them noticed in and around LA, but the duo had to put their artist project on hold due to their busy scheduled as touring musicians. But despite spending time apart, the two stayed in touch and continued to work on new songs via email. Daly and Improggo officially resumed their partnership in 2010 as Parade of Lights, finetuning their sound opening for acts such as Imagine Dragons, Marcy Playground and Rooney across Southern California.

Parade of Lights' freshly-released "Born To Live, Born To Love' is an impressive new EP that puts the duo in pole position as one of the brightest new alt-pop acts to pop up this year. The five-track effort is filled with intensely atmospheric, beautifully crafted mid-tempo cuts that paint a sweeping soundscape. It's the perfect backdrop for the group's poignant lyrics about living, loving and letting go of whatever stands in the way of both. 

The EP kicks off with the peppy lead single "Just Give It Up" that music supervisors sure are to salivate over for placement in commercials and television shows. The group gently switches gears on the synthastic "Only Human" that serves up comfort and encouragement with lyrics like "hold on, hold tight, you can't always be right" in the pre-chorus before crashing into a gloriously soaring chorus featuring Daly's candy-coated falsetto. It's the kind of stuff that pop aficionados will instantly flock to.

The group segues into the escapist dance jam "Flash of Light" that is ruled by a combination of a contemporary electro and an '80s styled sax solo that keeps it on the right side of nostalgic. The radio-ready "Talk To You" further emphasizes the duo's finely-tuned knack for bubbling synths and powerful pop melodies. The EP concludes with the down-beat "Wild" that neatly balances between shimmering verses and a hook-laden chorus, telling a tale about the "jungle outside" is "keeping us apart" but "we can be wild out in the open."

It's a fitting finale to a terrific new effort by a promising new band that you should keep your eye (and ear) on. Highly recommended. Five out of five stars. (Support new pop and download Parade of Lights "Born To Live, Born To Love" on iTunes.)

September 30, 2012 | Permalink