Review Summary: Forty minutes of sublime, ethereal pop.
Disco Lasers is a strong and, at times, original pop album debut by Ebony Buckle. It is perhaps unusual that it is very much meant to be listened to as an album - perhaps best illustrated by the fact every track has "album version" attached to it. Yet, it is surprisingly satisfying the way that tracks lead on from one to another in a natural and well thought way. The consequence is that it is an album that is best enjoyed in one go from start to finish because, taken as a whole, it threatens to be something altogether quite brilliant and more than the sum of its parts.
Buckle's singing is by far the most prominent element of the music. In some moments it is ethereal, transcendent; in others, it is powerful and almost operatic. Her voice drives the music while other instruments follow her lead. For example, midway through a song she stops singing and every instrument stops with her to create a pause, an intake of breath, before carrying on.
Because of this, your expectations of where a song might go are pleasantly challenged in unpredictable ways. As it is almost impossible to know where, or when, a crescendo or sudden pause might occur, or how long it will last. The pop song format is still present, but it is almost as if the emphasis has been slightly adjusted. A change that is used to great effect throughout.
The prominence of Buckle's voice also means the lyrics are particularly significant to the music. Those crescendos and pauses are tied into the lyrics, which themselves are stories ranging from the quirky and abstract to the personal and heartfelt. Themes of loss and abandonment are central throughout the album and, although there isn't a continuous narrative as such, there is an emotional ark which reaches a satisfying climax during Thank you, Goodbye.
Overall, this album is very well written and well worth a look at. If you enjoy it after only a few tracks, then take the time to listen through to the end. Because, if you do, the album becomes better and better.