Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Son Lux - Bones

Bones is the latest album from Son Lux, AKA Denver-born musician Ryan Lott. It's his first album on Glassnote, after leaving Joyful Noise Recordings in 2014, but it bears all the hallmarks of an artist whose work is probably more widely known than his name is.

If you're not familiar with Son Lux, take a look back at our review of Lanterns in 2013; you can also hear Lott's work on the soundtrack to the Bruce Willis time-travel movie Looper, and on Ned Benson's 2013 trilogy The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.

Bones is typically dramatic and fast-paced, an energetic and acoustically rich tapestry of music that yet again proves Lott's talent for composition in a genre he has all but made his own.

Change Is Everything

Change Is Everything is the second track on Bones, but it could easily be the first - a truly anthemic opener that wouldn't be out of place at a big-budget opening ceremony (think Olympics, World Cup etc) and that has the rare ability to make you feel genuinely 'in the moment'.

It might sound like a cliche, but if music is your way of release, of forgetting the past without worrying about the future, then this is the track to put the bad times behind you and look ahead more positively.

But it's not all about this one song, and it's worth looking to the first track, Breathe In, for an idea of how much care and construction has gone into Bones as an ensemble piece.

At less than a minute long, Breathe In really does feel like the album's 'one deep breath' before the music really starts - like the haphazard crescendo of an orchestra tuning up before playing the first deliberate note.

"Close your eyes, swallow the sun... you have only just begun," Lott sings in Breathe In, a refrain that returns later on the album in Your Day Will Come, and the common threads continue to the very end, with Bones drawing to a close on the haunting Breathe Out.

The Right Kind of Noise

Bones is noisy, let's not be coy about saying it. Vocals, instruments and sound effects are layered delicately on top of one another to create a fathomless depth of sound that will not be to everybody's tastes.

This is not music to listen to with a headache; but paradoxically, it is so immersive as to shut out unwanted distractions. It is, in itself, a distraction from everything else, without simply being hard rock or heavy metal with the volume turned up.

We should take a moment to appreciate Lott's vocals, too - they're easily forgotten in amongst everything else, but they are powerful, confident, a defiant yet inclusive SHOUT at times, a delicate melody elsewhere, and expertly flowing between the two over the course of a song.

In 2013 I called Son Lux music to drown out the stresses of the day, and that is equally true in Bones - the perfect music for a busy mind, with enough threads to get in amongst all of those thoughts, and weave you back into some semblance of calm.

Final Score: 84%

Buy Bones on audio CD from June 22nd 2015, or download as MP3 audio.

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