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Synth Single Review: From Apes to Angels, "Turn the Dark On"

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.

Artwork for From Apes to Angels' new single, "Turn the Dark On"

Artwork for From Apes to Angels' new single, "Turn the Dark On"

From Apes to Angels latest single “Turn the Dark On” begins with choir-like voices that lend it a reverent feeling. Warmly pulsing synths are joined by a steady, mid-tempo beat that continues to throb out into space. The lyrics are well-written and Millie Gaum’s voice is warm and strong as she delivers them. I love the shining, rising quality of the chorus, keeping the voices forward in the mix. The melody of the song has a lovely synthpop sensibility to it.

Millie Gaum’s voice is layered to create intertwined and flowing sounds which creates some beautiful harmonic moments. The melancholy of the lyrics is well-reflected by the steadily throbbing drums and the tinges of sadness added by the synth sounds that support the main vocal melody. From Apes to Angels have done a superb job of putting the vocals forward and letting the music act as support, rather than overtaking the lyrical content and the expressiveness of the singer.

This is a song about hope fading away but also about fighting back in the face of that fading hope. The singer tells us that “they build a wall around my heart/divided us right from the start.” This song is an impassioned cry to fight back against hopelessness as the singer calls out, “Put on your armour, draw your spear/I'm not leaving you in here/I'll take your life into my hands/And free us from this barren land.”

The soaring quality of the vocals is nonetheless touched by a tinge of pain. This is a song that seems to come from a place of knowing that the odds are stacked but not willing to give up. As the lyrics say, “I don't want to hide inside/We're not meant to be divided/Stand united/Open up and let the light in.”

“Turn The Dark On” is a slice of well-considered synthpop that is lyrically and melodically strong. I’m definitely a fan of Millie Gaum’s voice and so I’ll be looking forward to hearing more of From Apes to Angels.

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