A strong debut that perhaps plays it too safe...

‘A Vision In The Dark’ is the debut album from Welsh indie-pop quartet, Kidsmoke. With this album, the band address topics such as helplessness, relationship dilemmas and negative influences. They have a distinctive sound which is present from the very beginning. Opening track ‘Passenger’ is upbeat and summery, much like the rest of the album. It features the jangliest of guitars contrasted against yearning vocals. The lyrics are quirky (“I’m moving on to God knows where/Just to kill the time”).

‘Layla’s Love’ has a dreamy pop sound to it and is energetic. It features female vocals which add to the track. Previous single ‘She Takes You Under’ deals with the subject of tackling your demons in order to move forward in life. With its soaring harmonies, ‘She Takes You Under’ manages to feel reminiscent of the past while being modern too. Meanwhile, ‘The Bluest You’ looks at how someone dealing with depression can affect others they are close to. ‘Kaleidoscope’ is a lullaby-esque track at a succinct one minute and 10 seconds.

‘Take Me To River’ has been featured on Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror’ and a number of other popular shows. It’s one of the darker songs on the album, while maintaining the band’s signature upbeat sound. ‘Take Me To The River’ ventures into angsty teen music territory, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

‘A Vision In The Dark’ is a strong, enjoyable debut from a band that are confident in their sound. It oozes potential. However, the tracks on the album tend to merge into one. The question is, have they played it too safe by not including songs that are memorable enough?

6/10

Words: Narzra Ahmed

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