Multi-instrumentalist Ryan Lott, the brain behind the pop/electronic/experimental project known as Son Lux
, has released a record that can only be described as deliciously terrifying. The new album, Bones
, continues Son Lux's disturbing and unique sound that Lott has been crafting since 2010. Horror and a sense of unease are two things that seem incompatible with enjoying a musical experience, but Son Lux does these adjectives justice with his creepy, beautiful perversion of modern pop music. Every song is vibrant with clanging percussion, boisterous vocals, and utterly ambiguous noises. It's music that beckons your attention constantly, which is not a terrible idea in a world with so much negligent chaos. With artists releasing an abundance of material spasmodically, relentlessly, and accessibly, it's refreshing for a concrete piece of music to engage the utmost focus from the listener. Son Lux's newest LP, with its intense rhythms and unconventional pop sound, is a stride forward for a new trajectory in experimental music.
Coming up with descriptors for this music is often times a difficult task. I definitely was baffled with the inchoate vocabulary I had to describe the songs that make up this eccentric LP. After watching some interviews of Ryan Lott, I found out that his first professional gig with writing music was his compositions for ballet and modern dance companies. After that point, everything made sense. The convulsive nature of the rhythms has something incredibly thematic to it. There's a bigger picture in the compositions of Son Lux, and thinking about a possible dancer in the equation, running around to the outlandish percussion, has made many of my nebulous thoughts on the music more clear.
One of the big triumphs is the lead single "Change is Everything". It opens with a pulsating synth, unchanging in its tone while Lott bellows over the instrumentation in a distorted manifesto about life and transformation. As the song follows through vivacious lyrics, bass hits and other twinkling synths and strings combine to create a sound that is truly anthemic. Though tracks like "Flight" continue the grandiose sounds of the lead single, it's the quieter moments that make the LP worth it. "I Am The Others", a prolonged, downtempo ballad contains sentiments of sweetness while embarking on a journey of existentialism with lines like "where are the others/ I am the others". It's weird to say the least, with high-pitched vocals adorning Lott's consistent charismatic wail. Out of the eleven tracks on the album, "I Am The Others" stands out with its choral elements and quietness which place it as a concealed anomaly in an album full of enthusiasm.
If you are looking for a slight diversion from pop while still maintaining the accessibility of it, then Bones
is exactly what you're looking for. Besides of all its tricks and cacophonous percussion, Bones
regurgitates skillful pop techniques and reinvents the genre to create something truly spectacular. Get Son Lux's LP out now.