AWAL artists Longlight deliver a shapeshifting soundscape with their second release ‘Alara’.

Taking on a new meaning with the unexpected turn of the pandemic, the track was written under lamplight at the infamous Buffalo Studios in London and follows on from the introduction to their sonic universe which came in the form of their debut single ‘Choppy Water’.

Displaying the trademark soulful voice of Jo Williams alongside simmering synths and a lyrical Lucas Polo guitar line, ‘Alara’ drives itself through genres, whilst all the time keeping rooted in classic pop. Need you know any more? Of course not so check out our premiere of the new single right here.

Ahead of the premiere, V13 spoke to the pair who explained how the track evolved into the wonderful piece of work you hear today: “When Jo first showed us the song, in the early hours, it was a slow country ballad with a Prince-like tone. Him and Aidan, our wonderful collaborator, sat at the piano, fleshing it out whilst I jumped on the recording desk and I instantly knew we had something special. We will never forget the next days, when the rest of the band and our producer Danny came in and we started adding everything else, ideas just pouring out. We gathered everyone at the end of the day and we blasted it out of the speakers, and started dancing in the control room, just an explosion of collective joy from creating something so immediate that made us feel so great. At the core of it there’s a very simple but powerful message, and it was really felt in that room.

Later on, when we took it back to the studio, some things changed. We changed a few of the chords, and re-recorded a lot of the elements, picturing the start of the song as Jo walking out of the club, in the rain. That kick drum heard throughout the song is our representation of that, the sound of a distant party we are not in, whilst we walk and think about people and situations that are important to us. We then tried to make the song’s journey emotional but end on a very positive note.

This song features a lot of sounds that were reused and repurposed from its previous incarnations. We have a very brief appearance of Aidan Hargreaves and Klara Schumann’s string section, as well as Poppy Daniels’ trumpet. On the rhythm section we had bass extraordinaire Joel Mayes and Radovan Brtko, a human groove machine, and the piano that brings the emotional charge on the third verse is Sara de Santis. We thrive around people, and even though a lot of this record was done in Danny’s studio in Wood Green that first night when we were exhausted and dancing in the control room is what we’ll never forget, as well as the people we were with.”

Next up for the duo is a slot at this year’s 110 ABOVE Festival on 15th August, with Amber Run and Fickle Friends amongst many others in Leicestershire which looks to be the first official show and the start of something big for Longlight.

Artwork for ‘Alara’ by Longlight

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.