Posted on Oct 22nd 2008 12:39 am

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Dark Captain Light Captain: Miracle Kicker

Miracle Kicker
LOAF/Lo Recordings 2008
10 Tracks. 43mins38secs

With just three singles under their belt, London-based Dark Captain Light Captain have rapidly established themselves as one of the best new bands the capital has produced recently, gaining praises and accolades from the likes of Zane Lowe (Radio 1), Mark Radcliffe (Radio 2) and John Kennedy (XFM) amongst others, and their recent single Circles was described by Pete Tong as being ‘a thing of aural beauty’.

Originally the project of guitarist and vocalist Dan Carney and multi-instrumentist Neil Kleiner, DCLC now also count the talents of Giles Littleford (guitar, voice), Chin Of Britain (drums), Mike Cranny (bass, voice) and Laura Copsey (brass, voice). On their debut album, Miracle Kicker, the band weave a rich patchwork of lightly psychedelic vocal harmonies, swirling melodies and swiping acoustic arrangements, peppered with discreet electronic brushes.

The songs assembled by DCLC often appear gentle and sweet, as lush melodies curl around pastoral themes, but, as if to echo the contrasting duality of the band’s name, repeat listens reveal a much more contrasted and, at times, darker, side. The discreet melancholic woodwind tones which cast a shadow on Remote View and throughout Robot Command Centre, or the distant saturated guitar and wonderful string work heard on Questions hint at the vast wealth of sounds and moods hidden behind the heavenly acoustic guitar motifs that form the backbone of these ten songs. From the opening moment of Jealous Enemies right down to the closing notes of the title track, the band play with nuances, undertones and delicate textures to create an atmospheric soundtrack rich as a warm summer’s evening. Songs such as Parallel Bars, Circles, Robot Command Centre, Spontaneous Combustion or Everyone We Know appear totally effortless and proudly carry on them traces of Pop music with a capital P, undeterred by the experimental touches applied along the way.

While each member contributes to the smooth vocal harmonies found pretty much all the way through, Carney is responsible for most of the lead vocals. His gentle, breezy falsetto gives some interesting ethereal definitions to the songs, but once again, this only serves as a screen to the poetic riches scattered on this album.

With this apparently unassuming record, Dark Captain Light Captain deliver on the promises of their EPs. Working on many levels, and therefore widely adaptable to fit the various moods of the day, Miracle Kicker is a wonderfully lyrical and enchanting collection.


Dark Captain Light Captain | Lo Recordings
Buy: CD | iTunes

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2 Responses to “DARK CAPTAIN LIGHT CAPTAIN: Miracle Kicker (LoAF)”

  1. […] of the revelations of last year, on the back of a beautifully crafted album, Miracle Kicker, a couple of EPs and a pretty extensive tour which has taken them on both sides of the Atlantic, […]

  2. […] & Easier or the superb 8000 Reasons. Whilst not drastically different from anything from Miracle Kicker, these songs feel overall much leaner, the wonderfully delicate and shimmering instrumentation is […]