Experimental pop musician Ryan Lott spent much of last year collaborating with the likes of Lorde and Sufjan Stevens. This summer, however, his attention is focused solely on his Son Lux project. He’s not just eyeing any old return to the spotlight, either.
Lott’s expanded the band’s lineup for the first time to include Ian Chang (drums) and Rafiq Bhatia (guitar). Their forthcoming album, Bones, serves as a powerful commentary on the state of the world today. According to a press release, Son Lux’s fourth LP to date following 2013’s Lanterns is a call to action, a document of personal and collective uprising. Themes of metamorphosis resonate in architectural, vivid sound.”
Son Lux’s latest LP offering “You Don’t Know Me” encapsulates this invigorating sense of activism and desire to tackle chaos head-on. Bhatia told Consequence of Sound about the song’s backstory and seemingly serendipitous beginnings:
Created in the midst of multiple ongoing struggles for civil rights both in the U.S. around the world, “You Don’t Know Me” calls out the appropriators of dogma. It’s an open letter to anyone who misuses political and religious philosophies to subjugate and oppress their sisters and brothers.
This track is also a great illustration of the ephemeral collaborative process that birthed this LP. Ryan had bronchitis when he recorded the vocals, which were originally meant to be a placeholder take, but we had to keep them because their rawness serves the song. The drums uncannily mimic Ian’s playing, but were programmed by Ryan. The bassline that anchors the outro came from a single take of me improvising on octave-dropped guitar. We had Moses Sumney stack a million layers of vocals mimicking a part created on a Japanese flute synth patch. Hanna Benn arranged and sang the outro choir parts after a phone call touching on Bach chorales and Mariah Carey. And, once we heard the new D’Angelo record, we realized that the track wouldn’t be complete without electric bass from Jack Hill.
Echoing the song’s tense themes, Lott’s raspy vocals cut like an icy dagger as he sings pointed lines such as “You write my name on your walls, you don’t know me/ I feel you tracing my scars, you don’t know me.” The instruments also follow suit, sounding like warring weapons — erratic, urgent, and often at odds with one another. Percussive elements pop with color, only to fade and disappear seconds later; some synths bend and twist like rubber, while others shatter and crackle as if made of glass.
Bones is out on June 23rd via Glassnote Records. For more, check out “Change Is Everything”.
In support of the LP, the band’s mapped out an extensive North American tour which kicks off next month.
Son Lux 2015 Tour Dates:
06/09 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
06/14 – Columbus, OH @ Wexner Art Center Festival
06/16 – Montreal, ON @ Theatre Fairmont
06/17 – Toronto, ON @ NXNE Music Festival
06/18 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
06/19 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
06/20 – Winnipeg, MB @ Winnipeg Jazz Festival
06/21 – Saskatoon, SK @ MoSo2015 Music Festival
06/23 – Edmonton, AB @ The Brixx
06/24 – Calgary, AB @ Sled Island Music Festival
06/26 – Vancouver, BC @ Vancouver Jazz Festival
06/27 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
06/28 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
06/30 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
07/09 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
07/10 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
07/11 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom
07/13 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
07/14 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Jr
07/15 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgeralds
07/17 – St. Louis, MO @ Luminary Center for the Arts
07/18 – Louisville, KY @ Forecastle Music Festival
07/20 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
07/21 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas
07/22 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
08/08 – London, UK @ Visions Festival
08/07-09 – Katowice, PL @ OFF Festival
08/20-23 – Charleville Mezieres, FR @ Cabaret Vert Festival
08/20-23 – Hamburg, DE @ Dockville Festival
08/20-22 – Hasset, BE @ Pukkelpop
08/20-23 – Brecon Beacons, UK @ Green Man Festival
08/20-30 – Groningen, NL @ Noorderzon Festival
08/28-30 – Paris, FR @ Rock en Seine Festival
09/04 – Copenhagen, DK @ Tivoli Offspring Festival
09/04-06 – Vlieland, NL @ Into the Great Wide Open Festival
10/19 – Brussels, BE @ AB
10/21 – London, UK @ Village Underground
10/26 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet
10/28 – Berlin, DE @ Bi Nuu