Album Review: TrancEnd — Lilac

I was turned on to this band by someone who emphasized that nearly all of the band members are partially sighted. While that in and of itself isn’t enough to pique my interest, I gave Lilac a listen nonetheless. And I’m glad that I did; setting aside the impressive triumph over what could have been insurmountable challenges, this album is quite good when judged on its own merits.

The instrumental core of this progressive outfit is three brothers: Evan, Zach and Ian Maurus (on guitar, guitar and drums respectively). Even Maurus writes all the music and produced the sessions. Vocalist Brittany LeAnn is responsible for most of the lyrics. The music is moody and atmospheric prog, with subtle elements of EDM. Quite accessible, the songs don’t go in for instrumental acrobatics, instead working as effective backdrops for the powerful and expressive vocal work of LeAnn. The thunderous and commanding bass work throughout the album serves as a foil for the high-flying singing.

There’s a lot of what sounds like keyboard on tracks like “Meridian,” but it may well be treated guitar (or, more likely, uncredited keys). Either way, the sonic texture in these six songs is varied and alluring. The dance-oriented vibe is assured, but isn’t likely to alienate more prog-leaning listeners. Strong pop vlaues inform the songwriting, too: taken as a whole, Lilac checks a lot of boxes for listeners looking for new and interesting music.