★★★★

A unique mix of pleasure and pain, Babaganouj’sPillar Of Lightis the auditory equivalent of an ice-cream headache, a shot of sugar-loaded delight that comes with its own distinct measure of aching.

It’s sad, and it struggles, but by its conclusion one is left resolutely uplifted.

Unusually for an EP recorded by an up-and-coming band, it’s not a musical CV – rather, it’s a stunningly self-contained work, one with its own thrilling internal logic. ‘Would You Like Me’ mixes radio-friendly riffs with a heavy measure of fuzz, blowing pop constraints outwards, whereas ‘Awhile’ is like a Cruisers commercial directed by Ingmar Bergman – all calypso riffs and unceasing reminders of man’s mortality.

This is music that cares about you, an EP that draws a target on its listener’s heart and aims for bullseyes. But more than that, it’s sincere. It’s earnest and it’s unashamed, and a song like ‘Do Rite With Me Tonite’ gains true power after each sweep of its cap-in-hand chorus.

None of this is for show. Pillar Of Light isn’t an exhibition, or a desperate plea for the blogosphere’s attention. It’s the sound of a band making music it likes, hoping perhaps you might like it too. And on that level it is an unmitigated success.

Pillar Of Light byBabaganoujis available independently on Bandcamp.

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