Deadlight Holiday returns to St. Ambrose Cellars this Friday – as a trio – for their second show in the tasting room. Departing from their usual routine a bit, they will play some new songs in the more intimate environment and you’ll have a chance to get to know the band a bit.

Here’s what they have to say about their history and philosophy, in their own words:

The five of us were friends before we were a band, and some of the people knew each other since childhood. Like most bands, ours began in a basement. At the time it was it was just me, my jaguar, and a pedal board with a plethora of sound. I was writing new material of my own that was very different than what I had previously been writing in the years before. Shane, the lead singer of my other band overheard some of the songs I was playing, and wanted to be apart of it. Fast forward a month, we found ourselves recording more and more material. We knew we wanted female vocals over the song, but we didn’t know any vocalist in the area. However, we had a friend named Kallie, who we knew sang, but she never considered herself a ‘singer’. We invited her over to record a song called “Watching the Sun” and right from the get-go it clicked. We were laughing, having fun, and in the midst of it recording our first song as band. 

Initially we didn’t have a drummer and were using an iPad 2 as a Drum Machine at our Live shows. Our friend Christian came back to Michigan shortly after our first couple of shows, and on the same day of his return, he played his first show with us at the Sawmill in Big Rapids. He had probably an hour of preparation before the show, and I don’t think he missed a beat. Having his drum style added to the band, our sound changed: Shane’s bass lines had more of a groove, my guitar playing got heavier, and Kallie got louder. This evolution added to our shoe-gazing style in a way that none of us could have imagined. We became more confident, solid, and legitimized into a band. 

From the beginning, we are all geeks, who love star wars, dungeons and dragons, video games, and movies. We all listen to everything from Enya to Slayer, and we hope that our music reflects that. We bring what we can on stage, whether its R2D2, Yoda, laser guns, space gear, neon paint, glow in the dark gear, or even just odd shirts. To us, people come out to be entertained. If we can entertain the audience both audibly and visually, we can leave the venue smiling. 

We began on New Years Eve of 2014, and in just a very short span of time, we have played at the Ritz, Diesel Concert Lounge, the Intersection, Pyramid Scheme, and Sawmill. Our fan base has grown so quickly, and we keep seeing more and more people show up with our T-shirts at our shows. We can’t express how thankful we are for everyone who supports us. 

Currently we are in the process of independently recording our Debut Album, and getting our supporting Fall Tour together across the Great Lake States (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin).

The All Music Guide to Electronica defines dream pop as “an atmospheric subgenre of alternative rock that relies on sonic textures as much as melody”. Common characteristics are breathy vocals and use of guitar effects, often producing a “wall of noise”.The term is often used, particularly in the United States, to describe bands who were part of the ‘shoegazing’ scene, and shoegazing is sometimes seen as a part of dream pop. The term is thought to relate to the “immersion” in the music experienced by the listener. In the view of Reynolds, dream pop “celebrates rapturous and transcendent experiences, often using druggy and mystical imagery”. Dream pop tends to focus on textures and moods rather than propulsive rock riffs. 

Vocals are generally breathy or sung in a near-whisper, and lyrics are often introspective or existential in nature. Reynolds is generally credited as being the first critic to use the term “dream pop” to describe a genre of music, describing the sound as neo-psychedelic and noting the influence of ethereal bands such as Cocteau Twins.  

PopMatters also noted an evolutionary line from gothic rock to dream pop, while AllMusic stated that the ambient pop subgenre was “essentially an extension of the dream pop that emerged in the wake of the shoegazer movement”. In 1970, George Harrisonreleased All Things Must Pass; the album’s Wall of Sound and fluid arrangements led music journalist John Bergstrom to credit it as an influence on dream pop. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

Tonight at St Ambrose Cellars, we’ll excited to host a local dream pop band for your musical exploration. Dead Light Holiday, comes to us from Traverse City and boasts an interplay musical textures layered in to create a feeling of youth and the possibilities associated with being young. “None of our songs are preaching or trying to force an opinion on you, we leave it in the abstract. I think the Dream pop genre as a whole allows the listener to speculate and come to their own conclusions more so than most other genres.”, says guitarist Kyle Panek.

While they like to keep the compositions “pretty basic so it’s listenable to the viewer”, each of them “add a wall of sound to the mixture.” Kyle will write something and have a song going, then Shane will add a contrasting bass line to it, then Kallie, lead singer, will write something completely different over that. Jordan, tends to add rhythmic elements to the songs that add suspense. Christian, drummer, has a good ear for timing and he will alternate from being a drummer to being a percussionist at times depending on the mood. They believe they never really hit a dull point due to each adding to the overall vision.

Stop in for a glass and stay for the show! Tonight 6-9pm. And don’t forget about Friday Night Flights! This weeks chefs choice was inspired by the boss man’s hankering for an authentic Italian panini. Nosh on half an Italian panini (cut into two smaller triangles so you can share if you’re feeling generous!) served on Frankfort’s own Crescent Bakery bread with pepperoni, ham, salami and provolone cheese & just a little Italian dressing, alongside some savory root vegetable chips. The flight tonight will feature our delicious Secret Beach, ’13 Riesling Reserve, Clockwork Orange and XR Cyser, each bringing out a unique aspect of the flavors of this delectable little sammy. Bon Apetit!