Brighton duo IYES released their first single, ”Lighthouse” back in November and was uniformly praised by the musical blogosphere. And why? Because they sounded like The xx. I’m not sure that sounding like another band merit’s a reason to be commended, but I suspect a bunch of critics where disappointed by The xx sophomore record and wanted something similar to ease their pain. The truth is that “Lighthouse” is heavily indebted to The xx and probably the reason why I might’ve rejected it in the first place. There are the sparse muted drumming, reverberated guitar, tangled male/female vocals played-out in a minimalistic landscape (well, most of the time, the refrain is actually quite swollen and synth-heavy). Now, don’t get me wrong, I love The xx and I thought “Lighthouse” was a decent track, but we tend to at least try to look for originality, so unfortunately IYES didn’t qualified the first time around.
However, I was right to keep an eye on IYES (ehum..), since their new single “Glow” proves that they know how to record beautiful euphoric synth-pop (leaving the guitars and spare aesthetics behind them). Secondly, the initial comparisons to The xx is no longer necessary or needed. “Glow” should get IYES rightfully noticed as a band with an exciting future ahead of them, and in retrospect it perhaps wasn’t the worst Idea to release “Lighthouse” as their first demo. In that way, they got the proper coverage so people could start noticing their music.