Fifth full-length album from Son Lux. Featuring single ‘Dream State,’ an atmospheric take on an indie pop anthem, albeit with Ryan Lott’s characteristically fragile vocals throughout. The New York and LA based trio call upon Rob Moose and DM Stith as collaborators. Available on indies-only coloured vinyl, on City Slang.
8/10 Robin Staff review, 07 February 2018
If you ever wanted the ripples rocking the boat of Son Lux’s music to push it into capsize… may I kindly present ‘Brighter Wounds’ to you? It bays with the tension of a Perfume Genius record, given the grit and wobble of Xiu Xiu and the squelchy pantomime of ‘Age of Adz’ era Sufjan Stevens. This record is all cinema-firming bass blast, overly-serene string tear-jerk and stressed, freaked, devastated vocal theatrics. Forgive me one more comparison, but it’s about as hard to listen to as ‘Vulnicura’ and plenty good to boot.
It sort of feels like no one’s quite put a record together like this yet. It’s constituent parts have always existed, but Son Lux has made a record both disjointed and danceable, marrying tension and its catharsis into the same millisecond of song. “Dream State” moves between anthem and its broken glitch opposite with total clarity, its Stetson-esque sax bleat moving into the kind of immense synth euphoria that’s made recent Charli XCX and Carly Rae records so perfect. How does so much go on in one song? It just does, and the parts push around your brain and your heart while you sit around anticipating.
“The Fool You Need” firmly suggests Son Lux is infatuated with fragments, right now, not quite ready to tell a linear version of his stories. Its firm, clattering beats stagger down and up like the best Baths tunes. Even his ballads, such as “Labor”, have their delicate piano punctuated by antagonists of saccharine: industrial sound effects and melodically offhand string work that suggests a lot less comfort. The press release calls it “cinematic”, but Son Lux seems to reinvent what that means with every waking minute. It's bound to be one of indie pop's most interesting records of the year, doubling down on a trajectory the genre seems to be embracing more and more. I'd like to thank Björk, and I'd like to thank Perfume Genius, and I'd like to thank Arca.
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