Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project - Shine On - Song Review - Soft Alternative Rock from St.Gallen, Switzerland

Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project - Shine On - Song Review - Soft Alternative Rock from St.Gallen, Switzerland

The first Sunday of 2024 here in my mental institution in Switzerland. Today, I am writing about a Swiss band, Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project, hailing from St. Gallen, about one of their newly released singles, ‘Shine On.’

Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project – Shine On (Lyric Video)

Video by Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project

Produced by Gion Stump & The Lighthouse ProjectMix: Dave Hofmann | Soma Records, SwitzerlandMastering: Heini Weder | Elatronic Studios, Engelburg, SwitzerlandProduced at Palma Music Studios, The Lighthouse, SAE Zurich

Artwork: Smallcaps, Venezia, Italy

Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project caught my attention back in 2022 with their interpretation of '80s prog-rock, specifically with two songs, 'Dead Birds' and 'Hour-Glass,' from their fourth studio album, 'A Penny for the Fool'. I remember taking my time to think about the work they did that evoked so many memories of the great Pink Floyd, that led me sharing my honest review here on Metalhead Community magazine. Since that time, many things have fundamentally changed within me, aside from my appreciation for people who make music. The mysterious hand of God gave me the chance to meet the collective in person and attend a few of their live shows.

'Shine On' is the next chapter in Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project's career that came out as their fourth single release in 2023. According to my timeline, their foundational musical concept still persists after their highly acclaimed work in 2022, yet unexpectedly extends into more simplicity while maintaining direct influences of the '80s soft-rock and prog-rock bands. 'Shine On' adds another easy-listening and heart-warming song that incorporates alternative and indie rock influences in its musical foundation, drawing familiar and traditional influences from the Western sphere in its musical language. The song, in this way, is built purposefully in a simple approach, including a basic structure with basic instrumentation, vision, and character. Rather than the prog-rock world, now it speaks to general music listeners, offering the world another nostalgic, romantic, yet heart-warming music.

Moreover, 'Shine On' doesn't necessarily shine on the individuals, yet for their unifying, egoless work that lays the foundation for their unmistakable vocalist with a fabric voice, Gion Stump, to show his magic. His presence alone makes a big difference regardless of the music in a similar way to Johnny Fontane and his olive oil voice. Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project is doing the right thing by aligning him with their timeless and analog production character in their sound work.

Production-wise, the song most certainly adds another valuable piece to their discography that benefits from analog sounds and modern production techniques. When it comes to Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project, they are one of the finest sounding bands I have heard from Switzerland's underground scene ever since that work further to continue that legacy.

Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project, band photoPhoto credit: Unknown

On the other side of the coin, I also have to admit a few points that caught me thinking.

First of all, the song musically didn't resonate with my taste for its climate as I stopped listening to happy music since I developed a conscious. Since my first discovery of their music, I have been mainly interested in their progressive side, which this song doesn't necessarily speak of. I'm afraid the familiarity in its musical language didn't urge me to start sharing and playing it to my circle.

Secondly, although I wholeheartedly believe that 'Shine On' couldn't sound any better in terms of sound design and production, also found the sound characterization of the instruments a bit too basic, to the extent that the piano sounds similar to the most basic piano tone when you switch on your keyboard at home, as an example. Regrettably, I couldn't hear enough distinguishing character except for the vocalist's contribution.

Lastly, this song fundamentally doesn't make the right impression of Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project and their actual capabilities, and simply doesn't qualify as one of their best songs.

Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project, band photoPhoto credit: Unknown

In conclusion, Shine On is a great sounding song that has all the quality to make an impression on the listener without a doubt. Easy-listening and heartwarming nostalgic 80s alt. prog-rock song embracing simplicity and minimalism, speaking to general music listeners that led by a storyteller with an unmistakable charismatic vocalist. Thank you for reading.

Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project - Shine On single artworkArt credit: Smallcaps, Venezia, Italy

released November 10, 2023

Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project on the web

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