To Light A Fire
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To Light A Fire

Birmingham, Alabama, United States | SELF

Birmingham, Alabama, United States | SELF
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This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Review of Inward Dwelling"

Do you believe? Inward Dwelling is how a five piece pop rock band wrestles with this fundamental question. To Light A Fire alternates between pensive reflection and determined resolve in regards to the faith essential for living.

Melodic and easily likeable, To Light A Fire features Ben Smolin (guitar/vocals), James Tyler Cody (guitar), Andrew Flickinger (guitar), Shane Cardinal (bass guitar), and Alison Smolin (vocals/drums). To Light A Fire teamed up with Birmingham producer Joseph McQueen (Dos Amigos Recordings) to record their first full length CD, Inward Dwelling, released April 2010. Throughout the year, To Light A Fire has been touring their home state of Alabama as well as nearby Tennessee and Georgia.

Inward Dwelling begins with an admission and a longing. With harmonies akin to Coldplay, “Ghost” craves forgiveness of the past to allow fullness of presence in the here and now. “Take Your Time” continues the sense of skepticism and hesitancy, saying, “You gotta show me to believe.”

To Light A Fire develops each piece naturally while masterfully progressing the album in general. The wistful “WWII” is a particularly beautiful balance of subtle metal guitar squeals which give way to reverent ooh’s, while speaking of seeing a grown man “cry blood sweat and God in every sigh.” The aching cries in “Let It Die” rise into militant drumming which softens to lonesome piano; yet all is as complementary as the subtle sobbing that follows a outburst of rage. “Heaven” presents meandering guitar plays, yet the uncertainty is grounded by steady drumming.

Turmoil heightens in the “More” which seems to personify temptation itself. Even here though, greedy must-have desires are balanced by a trudging background beat, as if the pull of duty is attempting to tame the whimsical onslaught of lusts. The driving confusion quickly cuts to dejection in the starkness of “Liar.” A solitary piano emphasizes To Light A Fire’s striking lyrical imagery, which here depicts how sometimes the most difficult aspect of faith is believing the truth when it’s easier to believe lies: “The sparks flying higher/’I hate you, you liar’/I took what you said, and I believed.”

The pensive mood continues as Allison Smolin contributes breathy vocals with a delicacy similar to Leigh Nash (Sixpence None the Richer). An inviting piece, “Waiting” has Allison’s chorus presented like open arms to Ben Smolin’s verses speaking of past hurt and present hope.

“Which Side” lacks the intricacies of the previous tracks, but the album immediately saves itself with the lovely musings of “Damned” – “Do I really believe? Is there a place in Heaven for me?”

Inward Dwelling is like a vigilantly lit path, guiding you through the dynamics of life’s underlying faith quest: the rumination over life’s purpose, reconciling the knowledge of experience with the belief of what must be true, and the reconsideration that allows us to begin anew. Each song is also a detailed mini-quest in itself, a fascinating individual flame displaying the glowing beauty of To Light A Fire.

~ Myriah Christine - Myriah Christine

"To Light A Fire"

To Light A Fire is a collective of five very committed musicians, drawing their rhythms, melodies, and power from a curious common Muse that seems to speak in unison to them all. Equally strong in all departments-- guitar, vocals, percussion-- TLAF impresses listeners of any age with their imagination and consistency." - Keith Harrelson (Moonlight on the Mountain)

"To Light A Fire: Damned"

Birmingham, Alabama’s To Light A Fire seem to walk that very fragile line between mainstream and Christian music, at least on their single “Damned.”
Taken from their summer 2010 release “Inward Dwelling” the introspective lyrics touch on redemption and loneliness, love and loss, God and Heaven without being overbearing. The meaning of life theme is well explored here. Musically, it is a superbly produced track, melancholy and melodic with plenty of room between the dreamy guitar work, vocals, solid bass and precise drumming.
The band may think their lives are held together by “paper clips and bits of string” but their music is another story, very matured with high replayability.
One to watch, gang! - Insomia Radio


2009- To Light A Fire EP (itunes)

2010- Inward Dwelling (itunes)



Hailing from the town of Birmingham AL, where indie music is often largely forgotten, To Light A Fire has nontheless garnered a loyal following in their home state that is rapidly expanding outward.

Since their lineup was solidified in the Summer of 2008, the band, who's sound has been compared to Radiohead and U2, has toured constantly, put out two albums and made two music videos, all while continuing to grow and mature musically. Their strong work ethic and rigorous tour schedule has enabled them to make a name for themselves in a State that is better known for country music and college football.

When asked about what fuels and inpires the group, To Light A Fire is quick to explain that they are simply making music that they enjoy playing.

"We never set guidelines about what kind of music we write or what kind of a band we are." Shane(bass) explains. "Its a completely honest, no-frills approach to making music. We simply plug in and play what we feel. If we don't feel it, we don't play it- no matter how marketable the song may be."

Keith Harrelson, owner of the popular birmingham venue Moonlight on the Mountain, described To Light A Fire as such: "To Light A Fire is a collective of five very committed musicians, drawing their rhythms, melodies, and power from a curious common Muse that seems to speak in unison to them all. Equally strong in all departments-- guitar, vocals, percussion-- TLAF impresses listeners of any age with their imagination and consistency."

During their short two years together, To Light A Fire has aquired a growing list of accolades: They have performed at The Moss Rock Art Festival, and the Birmingham Music Festival, and have performances scheduled at The University of Alabama's Springfest and Auburn University's Earth Day Festival. They have recieved generous college and local radio airplay and have also been featured on several notable music blogs.

With a steady momentum building behind them, the band shows no signs of slowing down. They are planning a return to the studio in the near future to record a new EP, something that the members are anticipating with increasing excitement. Following their EP release, plans for a national tour are in the works, as well as a number of other exciting opportunities.

All things considered, the members of To Light A Fire like to think that they are on the right path. "I think we are right where we need to be," says Ben(vocals), "We have a long road ahead of us but we've also come a long way. Right now everyone just feels very blessed to be a part of this group and to be able to do what we were put on this earth to do: to play music."