Luxembourg Signal at AllMusic

Following in the footsteps of Aberdeen, the band most of their members used to be in during the late ’90s and early 2000s, the Luxembourg Signal‘s debut album is solid indie pop built around strong melodies and lots of guitars. Unlike Aberdeen, there is a heavy dream pop-bordering-on-shoegaze influence and a much fuller, much more realized sound this time around, but the core strengths of the band — their emotionally rich songwriting and Beth Arzy‘s pure and sweet vocals — remain fully intact. Where Aberdeen sometimes sounded like a stiff wind could topple them, the Luxembourg Signal‘s sound has some real weight to it, with the guitars both electric and acoustic layered perfectly around shimmering keyboards and a steady rhythm section. Songs like the noisily grinding “Dying Star” or the lost-in-reverb “Drowning” show the benefits of this heavier approach. The songs that sound like they could have come from the Aberdeen years, like the perky “She Loves to Feel the Sun” or the twangy “We Go On,” have more impact thanks to the almost over-powerfully good sound. The songs themselves have a hazy, near nostalgic feeling that sometimes comes with the passing of time and growing older, “We Go On” definitely has this feel with its references to Smiths‘ songs, as does the very adult-skewing “Heaven” and the bummer ballad “Let It Go.” There’s a real sense that the members of the band are all too aware of the tough changes that come with growing older that comes through in the words, the tender vocals, and the overall sound of the record. This isn’t pop for kids, it’s made by and for grown-up indie kids who have been through some real life but still see the need for sleepy, melancholy, jangling guitars, honest voices, and the glorious result that comes from mixing melody and noise. The Luxembourg Signal isn’t ever going to be the flavor of the month, they’re more like comfort food, and that’s just fine.