More pervasive than a virus, anxiety and urgency has spread across our physical and virtual landscapes. The air of the present moment find parallels on the newest body of work by Son Lux: Tomorrows, a long-format album to be released in three volumes over the course of a year.
On Tomorrows, Ryan Lott, Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang train their sights on volatile principles: imbalance, disruption, collision, redefinition. But for all of its instability, Tomorrows' exploration of breaking points and sustained frictional places is ultimately in service of something rewarding and necessary: the act of questioning, challenging, tearing down and actively rebuilding one's own identity.
Though Son Lux embraces musical exploration as a foundational practice, the band has never before experimented with format. Tomorrows does away with the restrictions of the traditional album, marking a notable departure in feeling from past releases. Whereas prior Son Lux albums have been packed to the brim with ideas, the three-volume format of Tomorrows affords the music space to breathe and develop. Each release sees songs spun together with liminal instrumental spaces, resulting in a more natural flow while letting sound lead in conveying the complexity and tension of the story.
From the start, Son Lux has operated as something akin to a musical test kitchen, questioning deeply held assumptions and rebuilding music from a molecular level. The band eschews genre conventions in favor of cultivating their own personal musical language rooted in balancing opposites. But on Tomorrows, they sometimes allow the scales to tip, resulting in a galvanizing internal violence that pushes songs to their limits. A prepared guitar melody folds over itself repeatedly, forming a chirping thicket. Drum pulses fan outwards and multiply across registers, aggregating into a throbbing mass. Diving cellos peel apart like weights on a pendulum before snapping together anew.
Son Lux's sound is distinctly individual, a result of their reverence for artists who have carved an iconoclastic path forward. The band's fluid approach to genre and structure draws on the groundwork of soul, hip-hop, and experimental improvisation, owing a debt to forebears as wide-ranging as Björk, Alice Coltrane, D'Angelo, Bob Dylan and J Dilla. While their balancing of raw emotional intimacy and meticulous electronic constructions has earned comparisons to contemporaries like James Blake and Flying Lotus, Son Lux feels that it is the act of distilling their varied influences that has most strongly shaped their identity. On Tomorrows, they conjure vivid, unexpected worlds of sound, evoking textures as different as those of Timbaland and Terry Riley within the same composition.
Arriving at a time of considerable uncertainty in the world, Tomorrows is ambitious in scope and intent. Born of an active, intentional approach to shaping sound, the music reminds us of the necessity of questioning assumptions, and of sitting with the tension.
- 3 individual LP jackets bundled together with obi strip, shrink wrapped
- Limited time download code for all albums
- Plans We Made
- Bending Shadows
- Days Past
- Into Wind
- Last Light
- Out Of Wind
- Weight Of Your Air
- Live Another Life
- Borrowed Eyes
- A Different Kind Of Love
- Plans We Make [feat. Kadhja Bonet]
- Come Recover
- Sever [feat. Holland Andrews]
- The Hour
- Vacancy [feat. Kiah Victoria]