Swedish post-punk and darkwave outfit A Projection returns with this fourth studio album, In a Different Light, a release that showcases the band’s ability to evolve and mature with each successive release. The album is a departure from previous works, embracing a more dramatic synthesized sound that feels both familiar and fresh. The opening “Careless” immediately sets the tone for the rest of the album, featuring a driving beat that serves as the backbone for the restless energy that permeates throughout. “No Control” continues this momentum with palpable anxiety between the hi-hat and vocals, accompanied by an impressive bassline reminiscent of Peter Hook’s iconic work.
While there is less reliance on strings in this album, the absence works to the band’s advantage, making what the guitars and bass are up to more noticeable. “Cover My Eyes” features haunting e-bow stylings that add weight to the sorrowful apocalyptic theme of the lyrics, and the album is peppered with borderline anthemic tracks like “Paris Stockholm,” featuring the effervescent Sarah Boom of Belgian post-punk unit Turquoise, and “Darwin’s Eden.” Released previously as a single, it’s a vast stadium-ready epic that has all the makings of being the band’s iconic live set finisher. However, those expecting an album of “Darwin’s Eden” soundalikes may be disappointed, as In a Different Light occasionally veers into slightly unexpected directions, as demonstrated by the bouncy synth-heavy “Lost Conversation,” which, while fun, feels a little closer to something from Alphaville. While this may be jarring for some purists, those looking for a refreshing contribution to the genre will find much to enjoy here.
In a Different Light is overall an impressive feat for A Projection, highlighting the band’s ability to blend atmospheric soundscapes with driving rhythms, while pivoting away from their default instrumentation set. Rikard Tengvall’s haunting vocals and emotive lyrics create a sense of urgency that resonates long after the record has ended. It’s a solid first step into the band’s new sound that will leave listeners eager to see where they go next.