Los Angeles’ Dust on the Radio is releasing its newest EP, Halfway to the Stars, on January 20. It’s a critique of Hollywood vanity built on sounds of new wave and post-punk. The five-member band seems to have a bit of a bone to pick not with Hollywood per se, but rather with the current superficial, empty, and cold culture it has morphed into. The first lyrics in the opening track, “The Camera Loves You”, seem to sum it up pretty well: “Your friends can’t reach you/They see your troubled eyes/Now you’re smiling/It’s the perfect life/But the camera love you/Makes you feel good”.
Despite the heaviness of the themes, the tracks are all light pop rock songs that are quite radio friendly. The themes are gently weaved into the tracks in such a way that they can take the listener by surprise at times, as the lyrics can be hard to decipher at times and are only clear after a few listens. In its second track, titled “Every Day”, the band touches upon the emptiness that some people’s life is made of, which we “Dream To Forget”, the third song. The emptiness of life often makes itself felt in one’s job, where many work to make a salary; this is the theme of the fourth song on the EP, “Underemployed”, in which the lead singer tells us how: “In my down time/I’m always thinking/What’s the next move/And what’s the end game/I can do the work/But please explain/What do I do with the rest of my brain”. The title of the song was well chosen; one wonders, with the opening lyrics, if the song is going to be about how some people working in Hollywood are barely making ends meet while others rake in millions per film, only to be pleasantly surprised by the depth and scope of the questions raised by Dust on the Radio.
Halfway to the Stars is an EP that makes for both an easy listen, what with the cheerful, light melodies and the gently sung lyrics, and, when one tunes into the lyrics, for a heavy one that might inspire listeners to think more deeply about any potential emptiness in their own lives. The band can be followed on SoundCloud and more information is available on its official website.
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