Aglow & Spark is the sophomore album from Wexford dream pop duo, Frankenstein Bolts. The album became a reality after the band held a very successful crowdfunding campaign and entered into the studio with producer, Daragh Nolan of Wexford’s Asta Kalapa studios at the helm. Asta Kalapa is fast becoming the studio of choice amongst the vibrant Wexford music scene as well as with acts from further afield of varying genres.
Aglow & Spark was preceded by the release of single ‘Anatomic Major’. With it’s mellow guitar tones, riffs and catchy synth hooks, this track proves to be a felicitous introduction to the album. The atmospheric, nine-track compilation eases in with reverb heavy guitar feedback. The sonic build up of the introductory track ‘Land & Water’ is aided by the gradual addition of synths and a steady drum beat. Layers upon layers of melodic guitar and synth hooks feature throughout the album, accompanied by well considered drum and bass lines and soft, husky vocals.
The thoughtful approach to the track listing allows the album to progress smoothly, each track moving effortlessly into the next. Each song is carefully crafted and the mindful, contemplative lyrics are befitting to the dream pop genre. Mid-way through the album, the tempo slows to the chilled out textures of ‘Language (I Know)’ with Justin Cullen’s vocal gently sifting through the reverberated haze. The band successfully incorporate traits from related genres while still sitting comfortably within the parameters of dream pop. For instance, ‘Four Hours’ would not be out of place on an Indie Folk compilation, while ‘The Lonely Hour’ poses influence from electro pop.
Following on from their 2014 debut album, Slow Season, and a stepping stone in the form of the Cinematic Views EP, Frankenstein Bolts arrive at Aglow & Spark with a more seasoned approach. The band have refined their sound, drawing on influences from a variety of sources including the Stone Roses and other dream pop outfits like Wild Nothing and Beach House. On Aglow & Spark, not only have the band proven that they are accomplished songwriters but that they are adept at creating atmospheric dream pop hits making the LP a must listen for musicians and music fans alike.