Cool September Skies by LN (Review)

It’s pretty obvious what kind of sound they’re going for, and it’s not a bad sound.
Cool September Skies - LN

I had known about this band for awhile, and had actually heard some of their stuff on a Velvet Blue Music compilation. To my ears, it sounded like a band trying too hard to be dreamy and spacy. However, upon reading some e-mail from one of the mailing lists I’m on, LN was mentioned in the same sentence with the highly esteemed Slowdive and Bark Psychosis. That was enough to give them another listen.

To be honest, the song on the compilation I heard is probably the weakest song on this album. “Tomorrow Came the Clouds” has a really nice, light jazzy atmosphere to it, with really slippery slide guitar melodies that pop up throughout the album. “Brightly Over the Sea,” with its quasi-drum and bass feel and reverbed guitars, is another nice tune. I feel like I’m driving down the highway at night when I listen to this one. The album ends with “Better To Be Cool,” a song with a very Labradford-ish feel to it. Again, we hear those slide guitars and reverbed chords, with the super-breathy vocals that are a mainstay throughout the album.

But on tracks like “When Her Heart Sings,” with it’s overly melodramatic lyrics and even-breathier-than-usual delivery, or “Dandelion Blue,” the attempt falls flat. They’re in the same mood, but they don’t really grab you. The songs sit there and look pretty, but they don’t stick with you.

Ultimately, the album wins points because the mood is pretty consistent here. It’s all pretty mellow, in that “it’s rainy outside, so I think I’ll listen to this and stare out the window” kind of mood. However, everything I’ve heard on this album is stuff I’ve heard done before and done better. But LN is definitely moving in the right direction. It’s pretty obvious what kind of sound they’re going for, and it’s not a bad sound. It’s just one that requires something extra-special, or else you end up sounding like everyone else (i.e. Slowdive, Bark Psychosis) that came before.