Having first become aware of Son Lux through debut album, At War With Walls & Mazes, it’s been incredible to watch the growth of the act. Almost ten years on from that album, and despite moving from just being Ryan Lott’s solo project to a three piece, the act has maintained that cataclysmic and unpredictable electronic sound that often feels like it betrays the genre by being utterly emotional and personal.
New EP ‘Remedy‘, which was written during the recent US election, is as you’d expect from a band like this. While I’ve been bemoaning the lack of political music over the past couple of years, Son Lux have approached this tumultuous time from another angle than say a band like Rage Against The Machine. While punkier acts reaction to political upheaval is to scream angrily in your face, Son Lux’s reaction to everything going on is much like your general public with hints of apathy, anxiety and general fear amongst the defiance. Songs like ‘Part Of This’ aren’t so much a rebellious Zac De La Rocha punch to the face but almost a quietly confident and mature lyrical protest with Lott firmly repeating “I don’t want to have to fight….but I will” backed up by staggered drum work and staccato synth lines.
Lead single and opening track ‘Dangerous’ is the perfect song to showcase Son Lux to the uninitiated with the dramatic electronica that crashes around your ears at odds with the softness of the vocals. If any track could be a modern day soundtrack to War of the Worlds then it’s probably ‘Dangerous’. Then there’s ‘Remedy‘, a beautiful karimba based track that is a classical inspired melancholic anthem. Complete with a full choir, the track is about finding your own voice in a world of political chaos. Here, you hear all the wonderful anxious nuances in the vocals and you know that, despite the polished production of this release, these songs obviously mean a whole lot to its performers.
Remedy does exactly what you want an EP to do. It’s musically exciting and engaging, occasionally in your face but intelligent and mature with it. And with only four tracks on offer, what the band do is to not overstay their welcome, leaving the listener wanting more. Electronic music is often dubbed as being soul-less but Son Lux have always pushed against that barrier and proved that opinion wrong. It’s hard to say this but if the political state of our countries right now creates enough conflict to encourage art like this then I guiltily have to be kind of glad about it.
Remedy is out on May 12th via This Is Meru.
All profits from the sale of this record will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit organization helping the most vulnerable members of American society.