This ‘Son Lux’ review was written by Marc Simonsson, a GIGsoup contributor.
Every so often you come across a musician that transcends the definition of what it is to produce an album, a phonograph record containing several musical selections. In his latest album, titled ‘Bones’, Son Lux (aka Ryan Lott) has rejected any rules or confinements which may restrict a musician ordinarily – he has not simply created a musical album, he has created a piece of art.
Having recently signed for Glassnote Records, Son Lux’s creation is a master stroke in modern musical creativity. Within almost every individual sound, he pays homage to some of the most influential music of the last ten years; you can hear the vocals of Brandon Flowers, the drums of Florence and the Machine, the eclectic melodies of Arcade Fire, and even the experimentation of Bjork’s ‘Biophilia’ project. And whilst Son Lux’s influences seep through, it does not retract from what he has really achieved – he has taken the best elements of our recent musical history, he has pushed their boundaries, created an original sound which has not been heard before and thus mastered the art of musical fusion.
Son Lux’s experience in writing scores for movies is apparent in the opening track and throughout. ‘Breath In’, with its delicate vocals and string accompaniment, gives the impression that the listener is about to experience a journey. Even the title of the song implies that one should ready them self. The story continues with one the most powerful and commercial tracks on the LP, ‘Change is Everything’. It grips you from the opening repetitive keyboard note and with powerful crescendos, and sudden but fitting alternation between styles it gives you a glimmer into what to expect during the rest of the album.
The introductory tempo of the fifth track, ‘This Time’ is enough for the listener to realise that Son Lux is about to step up a gear. He combines carefully designed electronica beats with raw instrumentals, which can most aptly be described as downright dirty! Then with tracks such as ‘Undone’ Son Lux shows that there is a surprise around every corner of this album and that the listener can never settle for too long before being blown away. In an instant and with minimal effort he can flick from a fast-paced bongo backing track to a delicate piano melody which gradually blends into a beautiful set of guitar chords. And therein lies the beauty in his work – whilst his creativity kicks into over drive, rather than let it spill over into an inaccessible mess for the listener to sift through, he is able combine creative wildness with rigid control. From this he is able to create a musical painting which we could analyse for days.
Son Lux could easily have used his deft skills to create a commercial album which appealed to the masses. Instead, he has shown no fear and faced his craft head on with a boldness that comes along too infrequently. Hopefully his creativity will be embraced and will inspire others to take a leap with their music too.
‘Bones’ is out on the 22nd June 2015, via Glassnote