Containing both a brand new song and three instrumental experiments, Reduction Plan’s most recent release is both a continuation and deviation of the band’s characteristically gloomy post-rock. Normally a solo project, the Child of Light EP serves as both a deliberate attempt at collaborating with others and as a clearinghouse for some sonics that didn’t make 2015’s Solace or 2016’s Shade.
Unsurprisingly, bringing more musicians into the mix hasn’t brought any more human warmth to Reduction Plan’s icy cold atmospherics. While the full band instrumentation of the titular track does provide some welcome rock physicality to the mix, principal songwriter Dan Manning still sings like a ghost trapped inside a freezer, following the song’s opening death knell with a miserable: “my creator taunts me.” When its brisk acoustic guitars give way to a grungy chorus, Manning emotes a mechanical wail: “I could not meet you there / No I could never meet you there” as if from some eternal exile in a sunless land.
Like many EPs, Child of Light also offers an opportunity to share some leftover tracks that otherwise might not have been released on a full length. These latter three experiments complement the defined songwriting of the first track and offer an extension of what Reduction Plan does best. Featuring only heavily reverbed guitars and indistinct swells of sound over a quiet drum machine, Experiments 1,2, and 3 are a welcome ambient soundtrack to some gothic arthouse film that hasn’t been made yet.
Listen to Child of Light by Reduction Plan below: