New York-based Ryan Lott of Son Lux consumes our ears with Lanterns, his third album to date. Available worldwide on Oct. 29, this brainchild is 43 minutes of magnetic yet often indecipherable instrumentation. To say the least, Son Lux’s approach is left-of-field and transethnic, gravitating away from conventionality and familiarity.
This 10-track LP has nestled comfortably in a space slightly less ornate than what we saw on Lott’s previous albums, At War With Walls & Mazes and We Are Rising. Songs like “Lost It To Trying” and “Ransom” incorporate Son Lux’s newly found sonic juxtaposition, which allows for haunting electronica and striking orchestral additives to flourish. “No Crimes” embodies all of this and more, proving its existence as a finessed yet disjointed string arrangement. Lott’s classical musical background is an album theme, simultaneously alluding to his past training and Son Lux’s present sound.
Depicting diversity, peculiarity and sentiment, Lanterns tips its hat off to minimalist layering, evident within “Alternate World” and the highlight single, “Easy.” The latter, as well as “Enough of Our Machines,” particularly features Lott’s introspective vocal abilities, structured alongside the futuristic soul and nostalgic world music elements.
Throughout, Lanterns maintains a hazy, meditative aura, oozing warm complexity with chilling bass saxophone and gentle piano lines. Venturing into even darker territory than before, Son Lux explores a richer trajectory that amalgamates modern R&B and orchestral pop, welcoming us to a state of musical captivation—one that we resist ever leaving.