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Neon Waltz – A Million People Review

Returns are daring and, at the very least, somewhat exposing. Neon Waltz’s return is a welcome one, as are the many bands and artists reforming or reneging on retirements. Hitting on the foggy aesthetic and brief clarity which comes from isolating moments, A Million People takes to the new intentions of Neon Waltz well. It was founded nicely on Thoughts / Dreams / Regrets and A Million People, like their first track following their return, hits a stride and carries forth a heartfelt message. Still, ears clogged with water from an icy shower to combat the murky heat which comes from the blistering and brief British summertime, A Million People makes for a pleasant listen, with powerful intent coursing through it as you start to melt away at your desk.  

Spliced and twinkling further down into a pool of panic, Neon Waltz brings about calmness in the otherwise barbaric flames. Jordan Shearer’s lead vocals present composure as the instrumentals wail away at those bouts of public park paranoia in the face of danger. A Million People presents a delicate back-and-forth which sees the band dealing with and detailing the feelings of hundreds of thousands. Feelings deep within and the shuffling continuation of their actions, all compounded into one person sick of hearing themselves. A stern talking to of the self is presented in this track, a sense of evaluating their place not in music but in day-to-day living. Cracks are starting to show, positive ones which detail an earnest lyrical style and a finer showcase of their extra bits of instrumental pieces.  

Diving into the grittier spots of overexposure to emotion, the overpouring of love especially as Shearer details, is a touching work and relies heavily on Kevin and Jamie Swanson’s guitar work. Scottish indie rockers still pursue the driving forces that mould the scene’s essence. Neon Waltz is back and with the bang they expected of themselves, not just through their powerful lyrical intent but in their determination to become more in tune with their now-seasoned showcase. A Million People mulls over the sameness and experience of all those people unnamed but mentioned within, a song which tries to come to terms with being on repeat. The band certainly are not, A Million People feels thoroughly in step with Neon Waltz’s indie recollections, and it is there they move through, coming to terms with their weighty expectations. 

Coupled nicely with Thoughts / Dreams / Regrets, and Neon Waltz has another solid indie track on their hands. It excels at pairing their past expectations with the reality of the present. Neon Waltz is not reflecting though, they are commentating on what is to come. Nights get darker, love gets lost, and it all features well on a bed of driving instrumentals, particularly the somewhat out-of-step and engaged guitar work. It sounds like a defeated fight against the feelings Neon Waltz worry is about overcoming them and their honesty. Layers and layers are found in A Million People, which is no surprise as the band denounces reflection. Sometimes things are the way they are and singing about it gets us nowhere. Still, singing about not singing about reflection is a nice way of coming full circle, as Thoughts / Dreams / Regrets are managed also.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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