Vinyl Special – Lanterns, by Son Lux

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Son Lux is a supremely strange entity. Their music – primarily generated by Ryan Lott, though Son Lux has since come to identify a real, full band – straddles a variety of genres, generally following the guidelines of “folky electronica,” while also using oddly acoustic instruments alongside inexplicable electronic noise. Every Son Lux song, every album, is an experience in and of itself, and they provide the listener with something different each time.

Lanterns was my first experience with Son Lux, and I was sold on its merits solely by lead “single” (not the most appropriate word, but it gets the point across) “Easy,” which is a slow, sinister track built around Lott’s smoky, older-than-he-is voice, and a low, airy horn riff. As it turned out, that track gave me a decent idea of what to expect from the rest of the album, in the sense that each track is an odd combination of sounds that feel disparate, but come together into solid songs nonetheless.

Son Lux is a small artist, and Lanterns was sold primarily through their Bandcamp page, which is where I got this album, as well as the Alternate Worlds vinyl from way back in the early days of this blog.

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The packaging is nice – the sleeve is matte, and it adheres to an entirely black and grey color scheme. The “Son Lux” typography, much like on the Alternate Worlds record, is printed completely transparent, so that it only shows up when light is reflected off of it. I do like covers that are as minimal as Lanterns‘s, and the title is a nice touch.

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Does it seem like I’ve run out of things to talk about? Because you’d be right. Sorry. Rusty and all that.

I like this album. Son Lux isn’t an artist that I listen to regularly – I tend to need to be in a certain mindset – but there’s no doubting that their sound is unusual, distinctive, and possibly even unique. Artists like these are the ones that I greatly enjoy supporting through direct purchases, like buying this album and Alternate Worlds through things like an artist’s Bandcamp page, or through another independently-run shop. Supporting the artists that you enjoy is an important endeavor, and supporting them as directly as possible is one of the best things a fan can do to ensure that that artist is able to continue making music.

It’s also important to give artists that you wouldn’t expect to enjoy a try once in a while. I gave Son Lux a try out of the blue when I came across “Easy,” and I found myself greatly enjoying their music. Discovery is just as important as artist loyalty, and people should take every opportunity they get to expand their musical horizons.

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I didn’t realize how gross my copy looked until I saw this picture. Sorry, guys – I didn’t clean it since I didn’t actually play it after taking these pictures. Oops.

So that’s all. I promise I’ll be less spotty next time.

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