Son Lux’s latest project is genre-bending
On February 9th Son Lux released their latest project entitled Brighter Wounds. Based out of New York City, the band’s members consist of a trio of friends Ryan Lott, Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang. Son Lux has also built a name for themselves by collaborating with artists such as Lorde, Sufjan Stevens and G-Eazy. In 2016 they also made an appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
Brighter Wounds is the band’s fifth LP release and remains true to the bands alternative electronic sound. The band has been known to incorporate elements of trip-hop into their music, and while Brighter Wounds does this as well, Son Lux takes their latest project in a slightly different direction. What they ended up with is a highly innovative sound that falls somewhere between trip-hop and post-rock.
Despite this seemingly broad influence, nothing on the album feels out of place. There are surprises on the album and at times listeners may feel like the project is going one way, and then they will end up with something slightly different than what they were expecting. This unique feeling conveyed on the album makes for an interesting listening experience.
The overall tempo of the album is relatively slow to moderate. There is a lot of use of airy vocals and atmospheric instrumentation. Early in the album, the post-rock influences are thoroughly established and blended beautifully with more electronic elements. The slow tempo is established on the opening track “Aquatic,” and then picks up slightly on the following track “Surrounded,” which features a more distinct drum pattern that has influences from Future Garage.
The post-rock elements present on the album come next on the tracks “Resurrection” and “Forty Screams,” which replaces the atmospheric elements with more ethereal influences. The lyrics also add the mystical post-apocalyptic feel. This portion of the album is also where “Dream State,” the strongest track on the album surfaces, which maintains the chilly vibe but kicks the tempo up slightly. It then blends this feeling with the post-rock influences. This creates a dreamy feel that at times feel like a lighter shoegaze track.
The trip-hop elements come into play on the later parts of the album and carry a distinct shift the sound. Although the downtempo elements are maintained, the songs sound noticeably different. This shift occurs at the track entitled “The Fool You Need,” and it comes back to the more distinct drum patterns.
The album rides the trip-hop vibe to the end of the album, and even though there is a lot of genre-bending happening on the project it still feels complete. The ability to diversify the sounds and maintain a fluid continuity is one of the strongest aspects of the album, which makes for a truly satisfying listening experience.