Gold Light
Gig Seeker Pro

Gold Light

Charleston, South Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Charleston, South Carolina, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Indie




"Interview/Review: Gold Light"

If you’re wondering where the honeyed energy, simplicity, and harmonies reminiscent of the 50s have gone from music, you needn’t look very far. Gold Light, a 50s rock doo-wop project of the rightfully ambitious and talented Joe Chang of North Carolina is bringing back the addiction associated with the infectious, playful rhythms of almost 7 decades ago. Though the grip on modernity is stifled because of his fascination with past musical influences, his intense reinvention of the past is an impressive addition to today’s music.

Gold Light’s self-titled album, Gold Light, is set to be released this month. The record is an exciting collection of simple love songs formulated with complicated thoughts by a complex man. Often, the sweet, clean clutter of rhythms and beats act as the main point on each track. Upon closer listening, though, you’ll find that Chang’s soothing, relaxed vocals are significant to the success of the record. Chang is a romanticist; something easy to learn from his uncomplicated lyrics. Often, Chang’s lyrics on each track loop into the next. For example, the first three songs on the album all have the same thought when Chang lusciously sings, varied a bit on each track, “Last night when I fell asleep, I slipped into a dream/And you was falling, falling, falling, falling, falling, falling deep in love with me”. There are many themes, too, like, of course, gold. Tracks like “L’age D’or” and “Gold” discuss the golden age and golden hearts, things that are clearly important to Chang.
Though Gold Light makes a friend out of simplicity and history, it is obvious that Joe Chang is impassioned about his project so his listeners can’t help but be passionate about the music with him. His woozy voice and 50s rhythms and occasional experimental beats are fascinating, especially when you listen to the lyrics that loop over them. Gold Light madly believes in love, and whether or not you do too, the music will make you want to love furiously and often. - Buzz Artist - Savannah Davanzo

"Gold Light shares new video for "True Love Never Dies""

Asheville, N.C., indie rock outfit Gold Light (the moniker of producer/songwriter Joe Chang) is gearing up for the release of its self-titled debut album March 11 via Hearts & Plugs Records. Having paid his dues in bands like The Neapolitan Children, Kovacs and the Polar Bear and Single Engine Airplane, Chang has spent the last decade writing, recording and releasing music under various musical guises.
Combining a love of classic ‘50s rock 'n' roll with the cinematic possibilities of music—he dropped out of film school to focus on his musical career—his latest moniker, Gold Light, finds Chang dropping the more abstract and surreal touches that marked his previous work and adopting a more straightforward approach to his material. Tracking through tales of heartache, love and loss while using artists such as Roy Orbison and Bruce Springsteen as inspiration, Gold Light becomes a catchall for Chang’s prismatic take on American music.
With nods to garage rock, pop and doo-wop, Gold Light's recent single, "True Love Never Dies," combines chiming guitars, a shuffling beat and Chang's own distinctive voice into something that resembles a bit of musical antiquity—or as much as the '50s pop sound of artists like Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran can be filtered through a modern indie rock sensibility without losing its inherent personality. And it's in this rhythmic dichotomy that his talents as composer and producer really shine; he knows the exact balance between modern and classic pop aesthetics and can easily bridge the decades between them.
In the song's companion video, Chang takes the reins and handles the direction, editing and filming of the clip himself—this is where his film background obviously rears its head. Following a day in the life of a singing telegram courier, the video provides a ride-along as the courier delivers messages to different people (always accompanied by his trio of background singers, of course). Eventually, we're given quick glimpses of happy couples and the reassurance that "true love never dies." Playing more like a mini-movie than a thrown-together music video, Chang injects these scenes with a naiveté and an honest, heart-on-sleeve attitude that are as joyous as they are infectious. - Nooga - Joshua Pickard

"Gold Light - Self Titled"

Bands who are blatantly influenced by the classics circa anywhere from the 50s to the 80s can quite easily fall into shabby territory. They can end up sounding like that god awful band who plays at your local bar on Tuesday nights and a dozen or so faux tan, wrinkly mothers flock every time, smoking cigarettes and smacking their red lips while gracelessly grinding up on one another’s cheetah print when the guitarist, wearing a bandana to hide his wispy balding head, goes in for his solo. They’d probably be the band your uncle hired to play at his wedding (to his second wife), too (spoiler alert: they get divorced). Bless all those seasoned rock ‘n’ roll souls, though. They’re just having fun so what’s it to me?
But then there are hidden gems like Gold Light, a little project of Asheville native Joe Chang who sought folky, Appalachian inspiration in the hills of Eastern Kentucky only to find an adoration for Doo Wap and 50s rock. Somewhere along the way of losing track, he discovered a new version of his musical self.
As a musician and an independent filmmaker, Chang was seemingly always doing something new and different at any given moment, albeit behind closed doors. Maybe he was never quite satisfied, like a true tortured artist. But Gold Light suggests Chang must really be an optimist. This album, the only properly released work from Chang in a while, makes you forget about all the crap going on this cold, cold world by making alive again the elements of what makes the classics classic—the purity and innocence of what love could and should be, the sweet lyrics and the quivering harmonies.
The classic inspirations are anything but subtle. “True Love Never Dies” could have been in Grease when Danny was wallowing over Sandy at the drive-in after he accidentally nudged her in the boob and she ran off. The Beach Boys are alive in “Endless Beauty” and The Doors in “Last Night (In My Dreams).” Even Elvis and Robert Smith come to mind when hearing Chang’s handsome voice. But what prevent this album from falling into the aforementioned shabby territory are the hints of modernity, difficult to pinpoint. But it is that near inability to identify where the modernity lies that makes it something fresh. It is an off kilter combination of new and old.
Somewhere between the invention of the cell phone and now, things have become less classically romantic. You can’t describe a pub the way Ernest Hemmingway, for example, describes a pub because, well first off, no one knows a pub like Hemmingway and second, neon lights and drunk girls taking selfies in the bathroom have replaced candle lights and quiet, meaningful conversations with bartenders. Even love doesn’t seem to feel like it might of when people couldn’t do things like text each other or send one another nudes. People are just generally less aware of, less wholly involved in the world around them.
But Chang believes—no, he knows that—there is still beauty in this world to make sense of, there are still mysteries and there is still love—all kinds of it. Through Gold Light, Chang has given us some hope that yeah, Miley Cyrus is one of the most famous people in the world and she’s always half naked with her tongue sticking out, but also, there are dogs that make lonely people happy and there are road trips with friends and laughing babies and holding hands and French fries and lots of other happy stuff too. - The Blue Indian - Hannah Cook


3/11/2014 - Gold Light - Self Titled (Hearts and Plugs 007)



Perhaps a continuation of the little known, now defunct lo-fi pop projects he fronted, The Neapolitan Children or Single Engine Airplane before it, Gold Light is the new name for the ongoing music of Joe Chang. Probably best known as a sideman playing guitar for Asheville indie folk darlings Kovacs and the Polar Bear, Joe has been writing, recording, playing, and mostly un-releasing his music for the past decade. The debut Gold Light full length will be his first proper release.

There’s a cinematic storytelling quality to Chang’s songs, perhaps derived from his pursuits in writing and film directing (he dropped out of film school, has produced a few low budget features). Less surreal run-ons like his previous monikers, the songs are more straight forward tales of love, loss and heartache. Tracks like “Control” and “Endless Beauty” could be from an obscure 60’s garage band, while “Last Night (In My Dreams)” sounds like Hunky Dory Bowie channeling Roy Orbison not wanting to be lonely. “Gold” is a slowed down bass and finger snapping crooner, while “Divine Light” nods to Springsteen in it’s weary yearn for something higher and good, with an open road invitation for a companion to come along for the ride. Closing track “True Love Never Dies” comes to terms with what happens to lovers on the run, or at least, puts trust into the hope that some part of life remains endless.

The mixture and balance of the old/classic and new/modern, things born and dying, trying to find some permanence in an impermanent world, or beauty in the shit, are perhaps fitting themes for the Gold Light debut. It rides the dichotomy of someone clinging to his fleeting man made precious objects, while reaching for something bright, filling, and redeeming, that you can never quite get your fingers on.. or maybe the only way to truly have it, is in it’s release.

Band Members