10 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Son Lux—a.k.a. Ryan Lott—is an accomplished musician who plays guitar and drums and studied classical and jazz piano and composition, all of which is easily divined listening to his complex music. The previous Son Lux album, We Are Rising, is a beautiful and cinematic collection that weaves together orchestral elements and electronic pop with stunning clarity—and the shocking thing is that it was done in a month, as part of NPR’s 2011 “RPM challenge.” Lott’s follow-up, Lanterns, is only a step above in that it feels more textured, with contrasting ideas nudged against each other like a patch of pretty weeds in a field of wildflowers—all clamoring for equal (and deserved) attention. The larger chamber pop–spirited tunes (like the glittering “Lost It to Trying,” the politely pummeling “No Crimes,” and the catchy, sensual, and creepy “Easy“) are the bold sunflowers, the songs you can’t ignore. The shape-shifting “Ransom” and the gorgeous and poetic ”Lanterns Lit” are songs you might overlook at first, until you notice their scrappy, confident beauty. Lanterns is exquisite choreography for sound.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Son Lux—a.k.a. Ryan Lott—is an accomplished musician who plays guitar and drums and studied classical and jazz piano and composition, all of which is easily divined listening to his complex music. The previous Son Lux album, We Are Rising, is a beautiful and cinematic collection that weaves together orchestral elements and electronic pop with stunning clarity—and the shocking thing is that it was done in a month, as part of NPR’s 2011 “RPM challenge.” Lott’s follow-up, Lanterns, is only a step above in that it feels more textured, with contrasting ideas nudged against each other like a patch of pretty weeds in a field of wildflowers—all clamoring for equal (and deserved) attention. The larger chamber pop–spirited tunes (like the glittering “Lost It to Trying,” the politely pummeling “No Crimes,” and the catchy, sensual, and creepy “Easy“) are the bold sunflowers, the songs you can’t ignore. The shape-shifting “Ransom” and the gorgeous and poetic ”Lanterns Lit” are songs you might overlook at first, until you notice their scrappy, confident beauty. Lanterns is exquisite choreography for sound.

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