By A.L. Devlin
Winter in the Prairies is a dreadful experience. The snow smothers any memory of a warm summer afternoon spent lounging around, losing track of time. An escape from the bleak winter, however temporary it may be, is well deserved to anyone living here. Enter Tropic Harbour, an Edmonton dream-pop project led by Mark Berg, whose new release, Glowing Eyes, offers some comfort regardless of the seasonal incongruity. Saying it evokes a longing for the return of summer is an understatement.
Building on the foundation laid by his previous EP Colour, Berg’s sound has developed, becoming more sophisticated and lavish. Glowing Eyes ditches the thin Casio-tone percussion in favour of a rich rhythm section. Tracks “Stay Awake” and “Now I See” are prime examples of the new Tropic Harbour. The music never feels forced like other synth-heavy groups who seem to relish in bludgeoning listeners with tacky, Allman-esque solos. Thick, resonant synth tracks are layered over jangly guitars resulting in surprisingly light and infectious melodies.
The entire album represents a uniformity in composition. Whether that is an intentional choice made by Berg or the result of a lack of song writing diversity is debatable. Glowing Eyes is consistent; A delight from beginning to end and offers a temporary (and much-needed) break from our cheerless winter. God knows we need it.Glowing Eyes, Tropic Harbour