Son Lux find soul in sinister experimentalism

Brighter WoundsThe new album from Son Lux is ornately drenched in the fears of a brand new father struggling to understand his place in a shifting political climate. Combining a genre-bending and, at times, volatile mix of electronic pop, unusual soul, and a sinister experimentalism,  Brighter Wounds draws on a range of themes and inspirations. The band's fifth album marks a shift as Ryan Lott takes another step forward in his musical expedition.

Brighter Wounds' beautifully produced and polished framework began to take shape on a coast to coast scale. The raw materials from Los Angeles, where Lott now lives, mix harmoniously with those pieces taken from New York, where the rest of the band and the Manhattan studio reside. After an 11 day residency, Brighter Wounds came to life. The distance gave each member of the band an opportunity to make himself heard in the final mix. There are so many expansive themes, that the album plays more like individual novels in a complete series rather than one concept. The stories seem to blend into one spectrum of colours like a split from a prism.


Opening with "Forty Screams", Son Lux instantly set the precedence of the road ahead. While making these songs, Lott became the father of a baby boy and also lost his best friend to cancer. The normal fears of a first-time parent were coupled with a frightening reality, as the baby arrived shortly after Election Day. The melody demands attention and quickly shifts to an almost desperate plea, a father singing to his newborn son: "I had wanted a better world for you." There's uncertainty in the waiver and wobble of Lott's voice.  The music has a synthetic element that bleeds into the organic and all too real fears. The world is such an uncertain place, and every time we turn on the television there is a new frightening story. There's a sense of anxiety and agitation that comes across, but it's clear that the song holds a certain catharsis.

The burn and cathartic emotions turn into an uplifting and anthemic burst as the roller coaster of Brighter Wounds continues along the tracks. Just like the other elements of the album, "Dream State" moves with impassioned expression. The peaks and troughs of the vocals peel back a chorus of layers that reveal an electronic progression like fireworks in the night sky. Son Lux take a blank canvas and create something that feels intelligent and proud. With all of the emotions and realities melding into one, there is a definite purpose to every single note. It's hard enough to be a new father. But combine that with personal tragedy, political unrest, and the inspiration from two of the country's most influential cities, and you have the recipe for personal and uninhibited reflection. The band will follow the release with an international tour.

Release: 9th February 2018, Republic of Music


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