If Son Lux Didn't Get Your Attention Before, He Should Now With "We Are Rising"
Beautiful Piece of Art
I Was Already a Fan Before "We Are Rising", You Should Be One Too
I would like to say that I like all music but I know that isn't completely true. I respect country music but do not have a single album (except bluegrass, Old Crow Medicine Show anyone?) and I do not own one techno album anymore either. I try to listen to new albums and honestly, a lot of the time it may not catch me during the first few songs so I put it away to happily discover it four years later which worries me because I want to start a record company or be a talent scout. I did that with Arcade Fire's first album when I heard the song Wake Up on a commercial for that movie I never did see. Nonetheless, when I heard Son Lux's a.k.a. Ryan Lott's first album At War with Walls and Mazes, I first thought, this album is out there. Believe me, I enjoy albums that shy away from the norm and mainstream but I was intrigued. I listened to this album a second time and said out loud, "wow", this could be one of the most powerful, beautiful, dark, brilliant albums that have ever touched my earhairs (see Benchwarmers).
To be honest, I would recommend buying At War with Walls and Mazes because this piece of work, in my opinion, is one of my favorites. You will get an understanding of his style, the way he expresses vulnerability, loneliness, etc and the genious of his songwriting.
So we are back to We Are Rising. I had no clue that the album even came out. Also, I did my once-every-six-month search of bands that aren't well known (Devin Davis, Son Lux, Matthew Shaw, etc) Google search just to see if there is anything new out there and lo-and-behold, "We Are Rising" appeared. Also, as a songwriter, I respect the risk he took to make this album. NPR asked him if he would take the RPM Challenge, to see if he could record an entirely brand new item from scratch, in just a month. He accepted the challenge and put away the material he had been working during the past two years. He recorded this album during the shortest month of the year, in February. This is what I heard:
The first track, "Flickers" starts with an organ and it builds with a distorted, high pitched choir followed by Ryan Lotts' distant voice singing "and with my open mouth, I join the singing light." This line introduces this album just the same as "Put down all your weapons and let me in through your open wounds" did for At War with Walls and Mazes. The line is simple and digs down to the emotional core of this album. As for the next track, All the Right Things, another favorite of mine, is a mangled mix of a gated organ, real, driving drums, trumpets, clarinets, and flutes. This track is much brighter than I am used to for a Son Lux song which is very welcoming.
In "Leave the Riches", Lott strips down to his exposed crux in this song claiming, "leave the linens, take the bones I am ready to undress. I will become a breathing man, leave the linens, take the bones," I realized that it had multiple meanings from release after death to a spiritual awakening to being a changed man. When a song like this has multiple meanings, it can truly touch everyone and anyone.
I love the fact that Lott inserted a little melody into "Flowers" that was originally refering to his last album at the beginning of the song. With another favorite of mine, "Chase", I love the interweaving of the piano melodies into the scratching electric violin, woodwinds as he practically whispers "will you chase or let me go?" He is descending deep into our hearts and minds with simple words and complex, interweaving offbeat harmonies with "Let Go".
I have found that We Are Rising is driven by emotions, intricate branches that poke at you asking, "are you paying attention to me, do you hear me?" I think you have heard him more than you even know as he had done remixes of the song "Nude" by Radiohead, remixed "Spotlight" by Mutemath for one of the Twilight movies and now has a song from At War with Walls and Mazes on a movie that came out last year with Anna Paquin called The Romantics. He put all his vulnerability, happiness, inspiration, joy, love, melancholy, and passion into this artistic album with the gift of high intellect, talent and skill. This is the only time in my life that I would buy a record player for just one album. Have you even seen the LP?
Buy Son Lux on Amazon
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