Fishlights - Fishlights EP

Fishlights - Fishlights EP
Dos Pelícanos, Mexico
Rating: 69
by Giovanni Guillén

Among other things, Exam Week last semester completely threw off my listening habits. Piled onto that usual practice of looking for new music were those 4 a.m. urges to rediscover everything I ever liked in high school. Which might actually explain my openness towards Fishlights, side project of Plastics Revolution full timer Fernando Heftye. On his debut EP, Heftye trades power pop for a sound that’s kind of all over the place: shoegaze, indie pop, post-rock, certainly nowhere we haven’t been before. Yet, even with its obvious nostalgic properties, the EP does create some sweet moments that are worth keeping, at least while we wait for future Fishlights releases.

Lead single "Desprender" contains an impossible-to-hate sincerity in which calm water patterns swell into waves of infatuation. Julio Gudiño (I Can Chase Dragons!) shows up to inject his familiar post-Alegranza zest, not to overtake the track, but to underline other themes of fantasy and escape (“persigues la ficción en busca de / un lugar donde llegarte a esconder”). “Origami” is another highlight, probably the EP’s standout track. Pacing itself with beautiful Souvlaki-era guitar and percussion, it aims for the deep, diving head first after hypnotic echoes and vocalizing. It’s also the first song in which the "underwater dream pop" tag feels like a legitimate description to link to Fishlights.

Approaching the EP's less memorable moments, “Ice Age” and the eponymous opener can drag, partly because both attempt to sound bigger than they actually are. Even though these songs could’ve benefitted from scaling back their ambitions, it helps to think back on projects like Silva, who in 2011 was similarly grazing the fields of entry level “epic” songs. Only after his spectacular 2012 full-length did it become apparent how the EP’s flaws just needed time to fully flesh out. Likewise, Fishlights might be out to surprise us soon.