Jun 15, 2012 Issue #41 - Yeasayer
Peaking Lights are the married Indra Dunis and Aaron Coyes. They're raising a kid. They once had an odd little shop in Madison, Wisconsin specializing in the excavating trade of weird old records and clothing. Peaking Lights was born out of romance and blithe, endless psychedelic jamming—deep in the comforting blessings that come in the confines of mutual amicability. A sun-soaked shimmer gleams through all their music, perhaps because they just love feeling carefree. On Lucifer it's practically scintillating.
Peaking Lights have written a record without any songs, the obligatory tracklisting serving as more of a loose collection of landmarks. Lucifer is cobbled together in a series of languid, radiated jams—40-something minutes of fluorescent muck. The modest budget spawns a sound that deals in microscopic drum-machines, acid-wash synths, and Dunis' concentrated voice. A circular, seemingly unending bath of warm basement-pop-it can be indoctrinating, mesmerizing, or infuriating depending on your mood.
In fact, no one could be blamed for finding Lucifer a little empty. Rarely is an album so comfortable in its restraint. Peaking Lights are inviting you to live inside their jams; the chalky vibes are just the logical endpoint. It all works for these ears. "Beautiful Son" is barely there—pulpy spaceship blips and a well-decayed piano loop, but, against all odds, it refuses to leave the skull. For a partnership seemingly content with turning fuzzy-brained experiments into label-sponsored enterprises, Peaking Lights manage to be remarkably memorable. Lucifer seems like something destined for hoity-toity aloofness, but it stays grounded and approachable. Weirdo pop-psych that doesn't burn at the touch—it may very well be lumped into the fringes of the scene, but it doesn't belong there. Peaking Lights make music that turns limited means and an artsy angle into something profoundly universal. (www.peakinglights.com)
Author rating: 8/10
Average reader rating: 9/10