Just ten days into the beginning of 2020, Lane 8 kicked off the new year with his release, Brightest Lights. This is the third studio album for the American DJ, following Little by Little in 2018 and Rise in 2015. Daniel Goldstein, aka Lane 8, started out with Anjunadeep, an English deep house label, known for DJ’s like Jody Wisternoff and James Grant. Since then, he has started his own music label, This Never Happened, which focuses on connecting music and music lovers in an environment absent of phone and photo technology. On the label’s website, he states,
“In the best clubs I have been to, the people were united by a desire to experience electronic music in the purest sense, to get lost in its tension and release. No matter what was going on in their lives, it was a place where, for at least a few hours, nothing else mattered, but the sheer power music had to bring people joy. “
This album is the perfect Saturday morning, cup of tea, chill vibe listening experience that encapsulates deep house. “Groundhog Day” opens the album with a smooth synth beat and varied vocal accompaniments. At 121 BPM, the album opens calmly, the first song building slowly with more percussion before adding a steady beat machine. It set the tone for the rest of the release, melting into a variety of rich lyrics, vocals, and beats to relax with.
In the next song, “Road,” Lane 8 and Arctic Lake join muted basslines and high, lilting vocals together. “I see the stars, they light the sky / And wonder where I fit in the light.” A call to the album’s title, the lyrics, and beats create a soothing, simmering song to relax into.
In many songs on the album, Lane 8 has brought on some fantastic additions to round out the electronic music with other artistic representations. Poliça, an American pop synth band, was featured on four songs: “Brightest Lights,” an edit of the former, “Shooting Arrows,” and “The Rope.” Singer, Channy Leaneagh’s voice adds a modern twist to the soulful call of deep house.
Near the end of the album, Artic Lake partners with Lane 8 again for “Don’t Let Me Go.” Themes of connection and love thread gently through the vocals of Emma Foster: “And here with you, I’m not alone / I found a place to call my own.” It’s a soothing beat to groove to while finishing up work for the day or driving.
This entire set of songs from Lane 8 is a joy to listen to from the beginning to the end. There is a little bit of everything mixed together throughout, like the various featuring artists, percussions combinations on beat machines, and rises to the gentle drops that get heads bobbing and bodies moving. Lane 8 delivers a rising star with Brightest Lights, marking off an excellent start to 2020.