Son Lux may just be the masters of their genre-less sound, but just because they are on top doesn't mean they don't have their own insecurities. Son Lux often explores atmosphere and dynamics in their music, and their unique noise has cemented their place amongst the greats. There's an important element to that relative emptiness however, and they highlight it on this new record. Son Lux sounds dark and vulnerable on Brighter Wounds, one of their biggest but most open records yet.
Vulnerability is the key on this record, and it's always been there. This record really makes it the heart of the music, though. Opening track 'Forty Screams' is dramatic, huge bass hits coming in to add a regal tone to the record, Ryan Lott's vocals haunting and faraway as expected, his lyrics telling a harsh story. 'Forty Screams' is about watching someone suffer through the same treacherous path you have, Lott admitting "I know just what you're feeling" after saying he can't bare to watch: "I can't bear another day like this." The pounding synths only make the song more dramatic, and 'Dream State' comes in with more frantic chaos than controlled pain. The wild brass the introduces the song helps it become oddly beautiful, the vocals anthemic as the song comes to a huge end. The song has a pop drive but is Son Lux at their finest, driving percussion and chaotic synths pairing together to make something epic.
There's not a moment on Brighter Wounds that has you feeling safe. Just as the band lets themselves feel vulnerable, you feel the same. It's something in the pounding bass and methodical chaos that just opens you up and takes your soul on a ride with the music. From the wild percussion of 'Surrounding' to the crystalline guitars of 'The Fool You Need,' everything feels like it is part of a memory or insecurity that haunts you. It's more clear in some of the slower songs, like in the echoing pianos and curious guitars of 'Labor' and the gentleness of 'All Directions,' and in the honesty of some of the lyrics: 'Slowly' somberly chants, "Slowly lie to me, like you do when you tell the truth" above its dejected instrumental. The atmosphere just hits you, each note like another heartbeat. Closing track 'Resurrection' ties up the hole it opened in you, its haunting timbre building grandly and darkly to make for a big ending that brings your soul back into your body.
Listening to Brighter Wounds is almost like an out-of-body experience, in the best way. It takes you through your weakest areas, whether that may mean memories that hold you back or your insecurities you fight every day. Son Lux sounds dark and vulnerable on Brighter Wounds and brings you along for their soulful healing.
Favorite Tracks: Dream State, Labor, All Directions, The Fool You Need
Least Favorite Track: Young
Rating: 91 / 100
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