Despite what the laundry detergent ads have been telling us, the future's going to be dirty. No matter how much time we spend in front of the little clean, white geometric figures of the wuh wuh wuh, that white glow won't rub off. All still rises from and resolves into dirt. Or at least petroleum. But Old Light's people don't share the dirt disdain. They've got grass stains on knees and asses, splinters in the fingers, and soil under their nails.
Shining on all the dirt, however, is light: sun, stars, streetlights, fireflies, etc. (been outside recently?) A light like gold. Old Light began when Garth (singer and autoharp) bought an old autoharp from an antique instrument guru down in Winters, CA and recorded it over and over, layering the tracks. The echoing layers of harp were a very specific kind of non-specific sound. It's blurry, yet there are bell-like overtones that just shine like gold. The antique glow of pewter, worn wooden tools, a sunset obscured by smog, waste product of California dreaming. Like Brian Wilson camping in a cardboard box.
Rumor has it the band's name originated in a conversation between upturned faces under the night sky (about how long it takes the starlight to travel to earth) that concluded with Charlie (guitar, harmony vocals) saying, "Man, that's some old light." Indeed. So that other rumor you heard about them being named after a beer is, um, totally false, dude. (Patrick, a.k.a. "Peef", the bass player, wanted me to tell you he did not start that rumor.)
Well all right with the mythos la-di-da. So, what do they sound like (those under the age of 30 can skip to the next paragraph)? This blurry music grew as much out of Sabbath as Scott Walker, and songs like Neil Young's "Walk On", Can's "Sing Swan Song", and Dylan's "Hurricane". The kind of songs you might listen to for years before the lyrics finally hit and you realize the shadows that sometimes hang behind a jaunty beat (supplied by Todd on drums). No giant bummers here, but, like all great music, it's a question of balance, opposing forces that never tilt the scale too far one way or the other. Old Light always delivers the news with a smile on their face. Oh, and they rock your dick off.
John Dwyer from Thee Oh Sees said, "It's like Crosby Stills and Nash if they didn't suck!" Old Light's gonna light whatever you got in your pipe so you can smoke it. You should totally download the last song, though, 'cause it's spooky. Jolie's singing in the distance about a wolf and some kinda bird, they're the only other living things in the night, and you can hear them. If you listen.