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‘Goodbye Darkness Hello Light’ review: Birth of an Empire

by Josephine Bell

I first listened to ‘Goodbye Darkness Hello Light’ after I had dismounted my motorcycle on a lush green field in Byron Bay whilst setting up my camp for the night. It was a sunny November afternoon in 2020 and I was so happy to be escaping the urban grind of Brisbane and seeing my good friend Morgan Phoenix front woman of Lovempire.

She threw a pair of headphones on my head and stuck her iPhone in my back pocket and walked back onto the verdant field to continue lying in the sun exactly where I had found her when I rode in.

My first impression of the album was the grungy vocals and how complete the quality of the music was. It kind of reminded me of when I saw Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, they’re a three-piece but they sound so full. A desert-rock sound. The vocals were a surprise because having known Phoenix as a riding buddy, I know she has a softness to her. I like soft women who can show their grit, they’re not mutually exclusive.

The song order ebbs and flows just in the right way and the body of work sounded familiar but totally new. I heard familiarity in bands such as Dorothy, The Coathangers and Death Valley Girls, all bands I had come across through the LA biking scenes.

I like lyrics that have depth and rebellion, which these lyrics have, they take a hold on a deeper psychological level rather than just skipping over the surface shallows. I got the sense from the track 'Absolution State' that Phoenix is the type of woman at her core who would stand up for who she is and what she believes in, someone who perhaps refuses to live her life by expectations and live her truth.

This is music for seeing live, I could see it and feel it. I would be going to see this band play, the experience of seeing these songs live would be satisfying and cathartic. It’s the perfect girl rock band music, a blend of notes of subtle angst and energetic power riffs.

Having not seen a live show in some time, hearing this album gave me a sense of excited expectation, a light at the end of the tunnel feeling and a reminder of how an important torch bearing art form Rock n Roll is.

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