If, as the theory predicts, there are infinite universes with infinite possibilities, all of which are real, then somewhere out there, a bunch of astronauts are exploring the furthest reaches of space with LTKLTL (Let The Kids Light These Lanterns) providing the ideal soundtrack. The debut EP from Dialects contains five tracks of progressive, instrumental math-rock that has a major cosmic vibe to it – this is space interpreted as something optimistic and exciting, full of possibility and wonder, much like their music is. Sure, it may be challenging at times, and a lot of thought has evidently gone in to these songs, but space travel isn’t meant to be easy. The band invite you on a journey, and you’d be well advised to take them up on it.
As you might expect from such a description, this is music that reaches for the stars. There’s a grandiose, soaring quality to the tracks, as well as a sense of adventure. Time signatures constantly shift, as does emphasis, and the technical skill on display is astounding. Even so, it doesn’t feel pretentious, and unlike many other instrumental bands, Dialects succeed in holding the listeners attention, taking them away with them as they chart the solar system. There’s countless ideas packed in to these songs, but the band meld them together skillfully, with the movements feeling natural. The restless nature really adds energy and momentum to the EP, and there’s quite an optimistic, joyful feeling too. When the music explodes it is quite glorious, and it’s almost impossible not to let it sweep you away. It’s obvious that time has been spent working out the dynamics and the proper ways to build and release tension, and such lessons are well learned and put to great use throughout LTKLTL.
Dialects may often play at pace, but they’re just as good when slowing things down – third track “Good Luck Felix” has a beautifully dreamy, summer vibe with its hazy melodies and clean guitars, and is probably my favourite track here. The sparing use of vocals on the song is very effective too, with them placed far enough back in the mix for the lyrics to be just on the right side of obscured for it to work in context.
LTKLTL is a very invigorating listen, but it does ask that the listener give it their full attention, at least initially – with so much energy and volume, and so much going on, it can take a few listens to wrap your head around, but that’s par for the course with music such as this. Even so, it maintains its initial sugar rush of energy, though as that may suggest, it can feel overwhelming if listened to multiple times on repeat (again, though, that’s something I find to be endemic of the genre, and should not be taken as a major criticism). Despite that, LTKLTL is a very exciting release, full of confidence, ambition, and talent, and Dialects succeed on all these counts.