I’m a bit of a sucker for music that shows a clear and tasteful eye back toward the 90s. Perhaps it’s primarily a nostalgic factor but hearing a song that reminds me of the mid-90s sounds of, say, Smashing Pumpkins (“Whir” really came to mind), tugs at a specific and rather dusty heartstring. This is what comes to me when I listen to The Ambient Light, and is what also makes this project such a worthwhile listen.
The Ambient Light is the homemade project of LA-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Steven Martinez. His recent work has involved the production of the album Sun-drenched Vol. 1 (Her Summer Mixtape) that dropped last year and borrows from pre-noughties hip hop and loft beats. Since the release of that album, Steven is now out with his latest track “When I Fade Out”.
The noticeable 90s influences ease into this track perfectly as we’re initially graced with a minimal string of softened keys. At the eventual beat of a drum, we’re then taken into a fuzzed-up shoegaze dreamscape. At the song’s core is a deep perspective on the passing of loved ones embodied by Steven’s hazed up vocals and lyrics that resonate with the melancholic ephemeral.
Lost and lonely I wish time would just move slowly Why does youth eventually fade? Is there another way out of here?
Accompanying these dampened wisps of utterances are woozy riffs strumming throughout this track further taking its listener into a blurred dream. The combination of sounds of a bygone era, sensibility for the sounds of current genre, and deep, cutting introspection makes for a track we’re going to dig for a good while.