One of the greatest characteristics of music is to be able to convey so much by saying so little. To that end, the Light Variations EP by Pacific K lives up to this metaphysical description of music.
Returning from some of their earlier stuff from over the years such as Hold Your Gaze (2019), Castaway (2020) and Light Between Oceans (2020), Pacific K rejuvenate their discography with the release of their latest 2021 full-length EP — Light Variations EP. In a description of a single line, Light Variations is an ambient electronic-folk journey that gradually morphs into multi-varied musical elements including the anxious pulsation of the EP’s post-rock element, the traditional electronic folksy lyricism plus arrangements, therefore building a very dystopic soundscape that is narrative, descriptive and immersive.
Spanning for a comfortable duration of [just over] sixteen minutes, the EP is broken down into four episodic tracks — White Wanderer – Light Variation, Hold Your Gaze – Light Variation, Cave – Light Variation and Solace – Light Variation. Understandably, each of the tracks is a different positioning and take on previously released tracks from the album Light Between Oceans, offering a different perspective to the songs. The EP leads off with the electronic pulsation of White Wanderer, characterised by the consistent bass kicks, the arpeggic electronica and comforting vocal performance. The traditionally electronic-folk styled track is a cinematic fade into the EP, preparing the listener for the rest of the tracks through the anticipation it brings.
White Wanderer gradually crests and troughs into a cascaded crossfade into its following track Hold Your Gaze — a morbidly ambient instrumental track borrowing inspiration from post-rock, alt-rock and electronic folk elements. Hold Your Gaze posits a moody greyish gloom, offering lesser lyricism and a more distorted electronic dystopia. Thematically, Hold Your Gaze seems to grapple with emotions of separation, loneliness and gradual decadence of former comfort — explained through the track’s melancholic lyricism in accompaniment of a similar-sounding arrangement as that of its previous number.
The subsequent track Cave is arguably slightly more upbeat, with consistent percussive elements and folksy arrangement which render it a touch of the electronic folk/folktronica soundscape. Although mellower and washed over with more synth waves than its original number, this rendition of Cave is more euphonious to the folksy spectrum. The track represents emotions of repentance and regret, where the vocalist sings — ‘I keep making the same mistakes / Over and over and over again / You keep saying the same words / Time and time and time again’. The EP’s closing number Solace – Light Variation is easily the track that sums up the emotions that the EP tries to deliver. The closer comprises an impeccable mixture of post-rock and electronic folk arrangement, where the lyricism reflects the hurt and introspective elements to their fullest degrees. The final track is almost a transitory ballad, an ephemeral message out to whoever the track is for, speaking about the fickleness of time and being in the here and now.
Light Variations EP is one of those musical collections that you can make entirely your own. Be sure to check out the EP here: