That Old Lighthouse’s sound is as much a familiar one as it is distinctly unique. Their passionate debut album, ‘Learning To Live With Less’, is filled-to-bursting with catchy hooks, emotive alt-indie-emo-folk sequences and quirky yet energetic vocals.
Photo Credit: Jade Ashley Yong (Press Images) | Antonis Tsioulis (Cover Art)
Learning To Live With Less, was written over the course of a couple of months at the start of the lockdown in April, 2020. It sat in demo form for a year, as Ashley started working full-time in care and had no idea what was going to happen to the music industry. In 2021, That Old Quiet Lighthouse began tweaking things and laid down the drums and bass, but it wasn’t until 2022 when he quit his job in care to rejoin the music industry full-time when Ashley felt that he had the headspace and the inspiration to complete this debut album.
“It’s a break-up album, fuelled by the isolation and despair the first lockdown caused. But its focus is more on framing memories in a positive light, and coming to terms with the emptiness moving on can have initially. Song meanings for me usually come after the song is written; I don’t usually have a conscious thing I wish to express, I just write what feels natural and its meaning becomes apparent after the fact. It’s an album of grief, but also an album of love and appreciation for life - bittersweet as it is.” - That Old Quiet Lighthouse
Learning To Live With Less, sees That Old Quiet Lighthouse continue with their commitment to putting the emo back in wholesome (it’s in there somewhere), weaving the keen and emotionally charged lyricism of Pinegrove through the bittersweet textures of Alex G, with a pinch of Big Thief’s passionate instrumental virtuosity for good measure.
The nine-track offering is in equal parts an ode to life, equal parts proof of concept that wholesome emo isn't just a paradox. Written in the aftermath of a break up, and at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it deals with coming of age, learning to let go and framing memories and loss in a more positive light. As debut albums go, this is an ambitious one. Packed to the brim with musical variety; multiple featured singers, violin, synths, cello, guitar and bass solos - you name it, there’s a seventy percent chance it’s in here.