OUTSIDE THE BOX: THE DYNAMIC WORLD OF "SON LUX"
Listening to Son Lux is like entering the mind of sonic visionary, that is, a mind that takes you to a dimension of its own. In this dimension, the mind feels as we do … bears its emotions, and begs for freedom both in lyric and sound. Each time we are sucked in by empathy, we are stunned by a crash of chaos, a squeal of an electric guitar, and other sounds less recognizable to the human ear. The creativity in his artistry allows the music to live outside the box, while encouraging us to groove along to the music at the same time.
Before his most recent full length LP, Bones, the project consisted solely of producer Ryan Lott. In touring his album, Lanterns, Lott brought along drummer Ian Chang and guitarist Rafiq Bhatia, whom both would eventually become a permanent part of the project. He was now able to record real instruments, along with the electronica and hip-hop influenced production he had mastered on his three previous full length albums. With this, the songwriting shifted into something more chorus-heavy and at times more accessible. However, Lott did not lose his iconic and powerful post-rock sound, instead, it has proven his genius in production and musical arrangement.
The band's founder is truly a choreographer of sound, manipulating computers and instruments in semiotic harmony. Lott’s voice is at times delicate, but also powerful, showing that his range is untameable. In the song “Flight”, he asks the question, “Are we now what we’ll be?/Are we fixed or free?”. Bringing the keyboard to the forefront of the chorus, the New York City native unravels his vulnerability in an existentialist’s plea.
On “You Don’t Know Me”, another standout track from Bones, Son Lux fleshes together multiple genres of music, tying industrial rock with powerful drums and indie vocals, infusing an electronic drop that shows us we are in strange lands. “You drank your wine from my heart/You don’t know me, you don’t know me at all,” proposes a darker, almost gothic brand of lyricism, but intrigues us with a tragic love story that listeners can relate to.
In producing the vast and diverse sounds he is able to create in the studio, Ryan Lott is not inhibited by the challenges of live performance. Noted for creating intense and compelling concerts, the musician’s ability flourishes with the presence of a live audience. Perhaps one of the most intriguing performances can be found on NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series, as Lott relies on a wind section to play the part of his digital composition. Delivering a creative and brilliant performance, Lott serves as a strong front man and conductor simultaneously.
The project's founder has also found a career scoring music for films. Both the movies The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, and the more recent Paper Towns, were composed by the producer. From the latter film, the song “Lost It To Trying”, became one of Son Lux’s biggest hits.
Lott has also done work with Sufjan Stevens and rapper Serengeti in a project know as “Sisyphus”. Most recently, Son Lux has released an EP entitled, “Stranger Forms,” an album that encompasses remixes from the previous Bones LP.