As a band you know that you are heading in the right direction when you can count among your supporters such diverse personalities as Steve Lamacq, Graham Norton and…Marcelo Bielsa.
That’s the position Leeds five-piece Apollo Junction currently find themselves in. Light Up The Sky is Apollo Junction’s second single of 2021 following on from the epic sounds of On The Ropes. It’s direction is equally anthemic, and there are large dollops of the New Pop and electronic noises that so influence Apollo Junctions signature sound.
The song starts with a succession of hand claps and a buoyant guitar riff that’s not only Light Up The Sky, but also very Spirit In The Sky (pick your favourite version). The rest of the instruments come in and the tune manifests sounds like something Gorgio Moreoda may have produced (Blondies – Call Me springs to mind) before, well nothing, a huge drop, and then Jamie Williamsons distinctive vocals kick in, ‘One foot in front of the other, I walk with you down the only path we know’.
The main theme of the song according to the band is people coming together in times of darkness. There’s a lot of it about at the moment. Williamson delivers his message in the verses, singing over the same bouncy guitar riff but with added pounding percussion that lead into the booming, anthemic, chorus. In fact the chorus seems to take on a life all of its own. After Williamson implores us to ‘Light up the broken sky’ keyboard player Sam Potter delivers a Keith Emerson-like arpeggio that just keeps going. I only hope that by the time I come to see Apollo Junction again he hasn’t taken to attacking his keyboards with daggers. Before the song comes to its sudden conclusion there is even time for a ‘electronic’ bridge that sounds like it could have come from a Soft Cell track.
If you look at the structural DNA of Light Up The Sky, and consider the quality of the production and performance levels on the song, then you can only see this single garnering more plaudits for Apollo Junction.
I’ll let you into a secret. A couple of months ago, when I reviewed Apollo Junctions last single On The Ropes, they accidentally sent me a few as yet untitled demos. The band only realised when I replied to them about how much I liked the third song. ‘What third song? We only sent you one.’ Turns out that third song was Light Up The Sky. I liked it then. I like it now, so much so that I am going to sit down and listen to it again now. Right where’s my blue bucket?