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son lux we are rising
son lux we are risingson lux we are rising

Son Lux: We Are Rising

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    For his second album as Son Lux, New York's Ryan Lott did a very un-Son Lux thing. He recorded We Are Rising in a month-the shortest month of the year, actually-while NPR tracked his every move. Quite different from the making of his lauded 2008 debut, At War With Walls and Mazes, which he slowly built in complete privacy over nearly three years, but he didn't plan it that way. He simply awoke one late January morning to find a message from All Songs Considered titled, "You busy?" The annual RPM Challenge, an international open call to create an album in 28 days, had been issued and Lott had been tapped. How could he say no?

    Lott was, in fact, quite busy, both with his day job at SoHo editorial house Butter Music + Sound, where We Are Rising was recorded, and with the painstaking assembly of what would've been the sophomore Son Lux album. But Lott shelved them and instead ran headlong into this exquisitely arranged album of classical notions, modern electronics, unusual pop and transcendent emotion. He made the deadline, and got by with a little help from his friends: folks like the yMusic sextet (Antony, Sufjan, The National), DM Stith, Jace Everett and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond).

    Listening to We Are Rising, it's hard to believe it came together so quickly. "Flickers" offers a paced introduction: a delicate array of woodwinds, strings, glassy digitalia and synth throb that lifts Lott's parched quaver into the clouds. Triumphant standout "Rising" follows, bursting in waves of static-smacked keys and choral bliss (Lott and Stith, joined by the Antlers' Peter Silberman). By the song's end, it has become something like The Faint reimagined by Nico Muhly. String-driven late album highlight "Let Go" starts spare and eventually builds into a gorgeous, surging symphony of sounds both imagined and real.

    Perhaps what We Are Rising owes most to its odd upbringing is an inherent unpredictability. Lott picks up the guitar for "Leave the Riches," a thickly haunted piece that pits Everett's country baritone against Worden's operatic coo. And "Claws" is noisy, fuzz-caked and lumbering, while its predecessor "Chase" is all about the details: violin and trumpet tracing intricate circles around percussion provided by members of Midlake and Mutemath. By the time We Are Rising closes with the chiming, skittering "Rebuild," Lott has staked claim over an entire universe of sound, expanding the Son Lux oeuvre in exponential terms, almost accidentally, for years to come.

    Track Listing

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    1. Flickers
    Producer: Son Lux
    Click to listen!
    2. All The Right Things
    featuring Katie Chastain; DM Stith
    Producer: Son Lux
    Click to listen!
    3. Rising
    featuring Peter Silberman; DM Stith
    Producer: Son Lux
    Click to listen!
    4. Leave The Riches
    featuring Jace Everett; Peter Silberman; Shara Worden
    Producer: Son Lux
    Click to listen!
    5. Flowers
    Producer: Son Lux
    Click to listen!
    6. Chase
    Producer: Son Lux
    Click to listen!
    7. Claws
    Producer: Son Lux
    Click to listen!
    8. Let Go
    featuring Peter Silberman; DM Stith
    Producer: Son Lux
    Click to listen!
    9. Rebuild
    Producer: Son Lux
    Click to listen!

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