Written by: Molly McCaul
Following the immense success of 2016’s Matter, New York band St. Lucia had some high expectations to meet. The album had branched out musically and thematically to create a mature, complex work that resonated with fans new and old. When the band suddenly dropped two singles this past week, the band’s listening base didn’t know what to expect, other than high quality. St. Lucia had managed to exceed any standards that could’ve been anticipated; through surprising changes, nods to the band’s roots, and a good dose of craftsmanship, “A Brighter Love” and “Paradise is Waiting” became a good omen for St. Lucia as a band and the future of music as a whole.
“A Brighter Love”, the first of the two tracks featured, beckons back to a sound similar to that found on St. Lucia’s first album, When The Night. It sounds more electronica than pure pop, all the way to its drum machine and looping synth, yet still features the emotional vulnerability and honesty that was so prevalent within the lyrics of Matter. Singing of mistakes and hope for the future over grooving beats, the song is simultaneously enjoyable and realistic. “A Brighter Love” holds potential to be an immensely fun song to hear live- which is fantastic, considering the band’s recent announcement of a fall/winter tour across the US and Canada.
Also on this tour, audiences can look forward to hearing the other single that was released in tandem, “Paradise Is Waiting.” Unlike the previous song, it’s less of a synth-pop ballad and more of an 80s soft rock hit. Featuring a choir, keyboard, and a full-on clapped percussion, the single is unique not only through its departure from St. Lucia’s established style, but in its flawless execution. The track is an entertaining listen, and the positivity encompassed in it is nearly tangible. It shows that the band isn’t afraid to try new things and play with new musical concepts. If this is any reflection of the variety featured in the inevitable (yet still unannounced) album to come, then audiences are in for a surprising, thoroughly diverse collection of surely quality songs.
Part of what sets “A Brighter Love” and “Paradise Is Waiting” apart from their contemporaries are their ability to work together. They both balance the way light balances dark- each allows the strengths of the other to shine without being overpowering. The release shows that St. Lucia is so much more than one singular aspect of their music; instead, they show a broad range of strong skills that promises many more brilliant things to come from that same band that brought such instant classics as “Elevate” and “Do You Remember”.