A musical duo connected through vows
After moving to Amsterdam to further their international career, California husband and wife musical duo Peaking Lights return to the electronic scene with a highly dynamic, full-length LP, E S C A P E. Since the move, the electronic duo has expanded their international fanbase and collaborated with Dekmantel Records for the release of their first album in three years.
Providing the label a refreshingly distinctive sound, E S C A P E highlights the successful combination of skill and compatibility between the two artists. The dynamics of the duo are reflected throughout each track as Indra Dunis’ sonic vocals cut sharply through Aaron Coyes’ clean production. In all, E S C A P E represents the combination of hard work the two have achieved in the 12 years of their musical career, blending together a cross-genre of dub, krautrock, disco and lo-fi pop.
Although the album reflects a multitude of electronic genres, each song becomes cohesive with the next as Dunis’ cosmic vocals project spontaneously through each track. There is a clear similarity between different melodies that may result in a pleasantly hypnotic effect to one listener, yet a seemingly monotonous result for another. E S C A P E undoubtedly requires a particular taste in electronic music, specifically for a listener who favors reversing high and low toned vocals on top of wildly layered synthetic beats.
However, for an audience who prefers Peaking Lights’ instrumental side, “The Caves” and “Enchanted Sea” are two tracks that highlight the simplicity and talent behind Coyes’ production. Track five, “The Caves,” is a peculiar track, as it unexpectedly reverts from a deep hypnotic bell to a quick-paced techno-flavored rhythm. People then get the version of mellow hypnotism they were expecting in “Enchanted Sea,” which creates a clock tower sound with its repeating “tik-toking” melody, overlapped with random bells and flute samples.
“Peace” and “EVP” combine house with techno to give an overall upbeat and playful vibe, as Dunis’ signature hypnotic effect comes through in her high-pitched, drawn-out vocals. Meanwhile, “The Dammed” and “Soft Escape” give off a cathartic old-school sound that takes people to a seemingly disco-age. There is a soothing transition presented between tracks eight and nine, transferring from “Innerterrestrial,” a deep and groovy house-heavy dub track, to an even groovier “Dreams,” in which Dunis’ vocals whisper sonic lyrical messages to our ears.
The last track on the album, “Change Always Comes,” is the highlight to this 13-track project, as people enter a six-minute meditative journey following Dunis’ drawn-out voice over the light tune of the piano and low-washed synths. Peaking Lights has continued to create pieces of work that reflect a multitude of genres, with E S C A P E highlighting the overall cosmic tones and dub-funk the duo can create.