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  • Bryon Harris

Stellarscope - 'Shining Light'

Based in Philadelphia, Stellarscope is a unique brand of post-punk meets indie rock. Their music is dark and emotive, yet it still has melodies you can hold onto. Fans of Joy Formidable, Silversun Pickups, Wavves, A Place to Bury Strangers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division, Interpol, and Ramones will be drawn to their sound. Stellarscope has multiple releases including appearances in many compilations and tribute albums. They have been on MTV, A&E, Discovery Channel, Alli Sports TV, and more. Their song "Shining Light," off their new album, A Glimpse of Light in the Darkness (2020 Patetico Recordings) is a great way to get acquainted with the band's unique sound.

Stellarscope offers up a dreamy post-punk shoegazey sound with their song “Shining Light.” Opening up the record, uniquely glistening, reverberant guitars lay out arpeggiated drones accompanied by thick bass and crunchy percussion. The song is performed by the stellar lineup of Tom Lugo (guitars, vocals), Rob DeFlaviis (bass), and Bob Forman (drums). Together, the trio creates a huge, captivating sound.

This somewhat psychedelic arrangement is met with light, spacey vocals that hover on simple melodies with a poetic rhythm and entrancing quality. The vocals begin to layer leading into the chorus, and as he sings “Your my shining light.”

Huge distorted lead guitars enter the mix, adding a surprisingly soothing quality to the chaotic timbre as the vocals blend into the instrumental arrangement. With a seamless transition into the next verse, the distorted guitars fade out, bringing back the melancholy vibes of the verse.

"Shining Light" is about being in a place where your dreams are fading. The song describes how on the inside you feel like dying, but there is no crying on the surface. Like a light through this darkness, someone is there for you and they are your "shining light."

Stellarscope keeps the dynamic landscape going by wrapping things up with a killer instrumental section that transforms the arrangement into a wailing distorted soundscape as captivating bass riffs tear through keeping locked in with drums, gradually building in intensity, eventually dissipating leaving nothing but the slowly fading distorted guitar.

In "Shining Light," Stellarscope captures and communicates profound emotional contrast that is heard and felt by listeners. With psychedelically-infused melancholics, distorted guitar driven punk, and fervent instrumental sections, listeners are at the edge of their musical seat while the chill, dream-infused vocal performance delivers a message of resilience and hope through a shining light of friendship in dark times.

For more information on Stellarscope, please visit their website.

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