Chris Donohoe Drops New Lead Single/EP
“We gotta let the light out / Don’t let the light in / We gotta let our guard down,” pleads a conflicted Chris Donohoe in the lead single and title track from his new EP, Let the Light In, Vol. 2. While his verses take us to the peaks and valleys of internal contemplation rather smoothly, the jagged edge this rhythm produces doesn’t fail to contribute something unique to the narrative at hand. Donohoe is going to use whatever tools he has at his disposal to make a point here, and lovers of a soft pop melody are going to be very excited at what transpires as a result.
This groove is steady and supports the optimism in the lead vocal beautifully, adding to the unspoken urgency of the words but not forcing the tempo beyond what this singer can handle. He’s shown off a lot of versatility in the past five years, and though it’s clear he isn’t going full-power in this performance – probably for the sake of saving something for his live gigs – there’s never a doubt as to how much of his heart is sewn into these lyrics and the instrumentation framing them.
The guitar tones in “Let the Light In” are one of my favorite features in the track, and because of how rich they are, I think it was smart to give the strings a little more attention than the percussive pulse here gets. As previously noted, the rhythm in this single influences the mood of the music, but it comes from the collective rather than the drums exclusively. By letting all of the players in this mix nudge the beat forward, there’s more space for the guitar to cushion the verses and be as buoyant a force as it would be in person.
Donohoe seems very confident in his performance in “Let the Light In,” but at no point does this confidence sound remotely arrogant or self-righteous. His isn’t a brand of pop songwriting that tolerates much ego-stroking, even when it would potentially enhance the personality of the material, and while he’s not shy about demonstrating what he can do when everything is going his way here, his attitude is nothing like those of the overpaid mainstream players he’s competing with on FM radio at the moment. This is a natural charm, and it’s something no form of artificiality can fake into existence.
Fans likely expected Chris Donohoe to outdo himself with this most recent single release, but I was really taken aback by how polished a sound he creates in every one of the songs it shares a tracklist with. Let the Light In, Vol. 2 feels more like a mini-album than it even does a proper EP, but though it’s stuffed with emotionally charged content I would love to hear more of in the future, I don’t think Donohoe should rush himself back into the studio. What he’s produced in this EP is something he should take some time refining until he’s ready to record his third full-length album, which I’m starting to believe could become the ultimate opus of his discography.