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nylenda (NO) – “Fires Light”

Though the Norwegian electronic outfit nylenda gleans its name from the Norse term for “new land,” the trio’s latest release is reminiscent of the three that preceded it in the best ways possible. The band has reappeared from underneath a haze of club fog with “Fires Light,” a triumphant continuation of extremely danceable form that arrives four months after “Every Mind Is A Temple.” The song refines the most successful parts of nylenda’s relatively scarce discography, and from its start, nylenda soars into the night sky, ultimately landing gently at the six-minute finish line.

“Fires Light” starts off with the energy of a ‘90s side-scrolling arcade fighting game, the beat bouncing in sync with the footsteps of the main character before quickly taking off with swirling synths ascending alongside the punch of a bass. “Descending from the sky/the flames ignite,” sighs frontperson Øivind Hatleskog, directly opposing the upward trajectory of the steadily intensifying instruments. Though the lyrics are “partly inspired by a dream sequence from…Twin Peaks,” the only instance supporting the weight of the cult classic’s eerie familiarity breaks through in the opening verse: “I saw you in a waking dream/reborn from fires light/it walks with me.”

Quick homage to the Lynchian cultural cornerstone now dealt with, the majority of the track mirrors both the lyrical and instrumental makeup of many other dance bangers reverberating through overwhelming neon-lined clubs. Halfway through the track, and directly in line with the peak of the beat swell, the dream sequence-inspired lyrics retreat in favor of a repeated and welcoming “tonight, tonight,” evoking the most familiar sentiment within electronic music: there is no time but the present, so we all must seize it while we can.

Although the climax of the track falls into recognizable electronic territory, the descent that follows is marked with a more brooding tone. “Clinging to the dream/but there’s nothing” grounds the listener with a sense of finality right before getting swept away in the ethereality – it’s 2 o’clock, the lights have come on, and it’s time to leave the building. But the feeling still buzzes within you as you exit.

With ever-building cosmic synths that veer towards Boy Harsher’s style, underneath faint Radio Dept.-esque vocals to pull you back into Nordic territory, “Fires Light” might soundtrack a frenetic prom scene during a suspiciously calm portion of a teen-centric thriller. It’s easy to imagine, in that context, the track ending just moments before a jarring record scratch alerts the main characters that their party size was just reduced by one less-than-notable friend. There certainly is no other night like tonight, and the memory of that night, cast against the shadow of the “Fires Light,” won’t easily be forgotten.

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