Pilotlight – South (digital single)
‘South’ is the first single from Pilotlight’s debut album, The Post War Musical. I’ve not heard the album but according to the press release accompanying this digital single it’s built around a solid theme. Bear with me, for no readily apparent reason I can’t copy and paste text straight out of it…
The Post War Musical, a project introduced by the British government after the Second World War in order to boost morale, brought hope to a landscape devastated by loss.
It’s a nice historical reference and an unusual one to see an album based around. Having not heard the album I can’t comment on to what extent the title informs the album’s thematic matter, however, this single doesn’t appear to engage with it to a great extent. Rather, ‘South’ is equal parts love song, giving thanks for friends and family, and a gentle farewell – perhaps to the same. In a very abstract sense I can see some association there, but there’s not much to it. I have to say I hope the album as a whole makes a bit more of an effort to engage with the source of its name, else it might seem a bit emotionally cheap to use it.
Happily, ‘South’ the song is a good tune: it’s built around simple piano work, guitar picks and gentle vocals sung softly and placed high in the mix. As its four minutes wear on the song builds, with the drums increasing in intensity and the vocals in force – until at points they’re being belted out with throat-straining emotional power. A multi-tracked tremolo guitar solo even makes an appearance to spice things up a bit. Overall it’s a good, solid tune, initially a little pedestrian but which wins you over as it grows and grows on you. Alas, there are no b-sides so I can’t draw more of an overall picture of the band – hence my above reservations concerning the album as a whole – but as a single, ‘South’ is a pleasant and heartfelt offering.