It was the song Missing Me that introduced me to Angie McMahon in 2019. The single's raw and reduced composition felt like a long-awaited return to rock music's essence.
With Salt, the Melbourne-born artist delivered a highly praised debut album, even shooting up to 5th place in Australia's charts. Eddy Lim, reviewer at the Beat Magazine, wrote: «While Salt is primarily driven by deft guitar work and a tight rhythm section, it's McMahon's stunning vocal performance that unequivocally captures the spotlight.»
Four years passed, and finally, Angie McMahon released her sophomore work: Light, Dark, Light Again. And it sounds significantly different from Salt—already anticipated with the first single release, Saturn Returning—yet arguably even better.
I have been listening to Light, Dark, Light Again for weeks at this point, yet I still struggle to fully grasp the album and put my thoughts into sentences that pay justice.
There are obvious observations like the piano replacing the guitar as the main character in most compositions—a development that originated in the 2020 compilation of Salt songs in piano versions.
Or that, suppose Salt was a raw blueprint of blues-infused rock music, the new album seems like a natural evolution: Its compositions are more complex and refined, sophisticated gems of singer-songwriter brilliance, encompassing all from rock, folk, blues, and country music.
Or the connection to nature as a facilitator of healing with references in the lyrics and soundbites introduced in songs like the opener, Saturn Returning.
However, none of these facts scratches the depth of the brilliance Angie McMahon displays in the 13 songs of Light, Dark, Light Again. There is more to unpack here, maybe too much for a single review.