Son Lux: Brighter Wounds (City Slang) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, March 28th, 2023  

Son Lux

Brighter Wounds

City Slang

Feb 13, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

In this modern era of alternative music where true distinction of craft is hard to come by, there’s a certain fearlessness needed in order to reach it. Inconspicuously, singer/composer Ryan Lott, guitarist Rafiq Bhatia, and drummer Ian Chang are following instincts seasoned with study to form an innovative code expressed through Son Lux.

The stimulation feels foreign and strangely warming. Drama escalates unpredictably from evanescent direction lifting you like a feather then letting you fall like one.

The soulful patterning is so saucey that James Blake would nod with jealousy. The negative space kept tense around percussive strikes, grand piano and electric keys, string flourishes, and streaks of free jazz wind instrument, then the sudden choral yowl, these are all accentuation to Ryan Lott’s hooded utterance.

Lott has a nuanced command of vocal inflection and understands what too many vocalists don’t, that you needn’t belt out your song to penetrate. Behind him, drummer Chang’s complex transmission of rhythm is on full display on “Surrounded” and “The Fool You Need,” where his stuttering patterns reveal a percussive language much his own. The dude is just a marvel with the sticks. And on the latter, Bhatia returns with an acoustic replay of an electric guitar part, both played with beautiful measure. “Labor” is like something out of a futuristic Fantasia and the wooden wind chimes in the shadows of “Aquatic” sound brushed from the hands of its ghosts.

Beams of other musical genres flash through. Theatrical classical, dubstep, avant garde jazz, and neo soul become part of a unique ensemble. If appreciation of the familiar done well is comforting, appreciation for the unfamiliar done well is bracing. Music like this opens windows and doors, letting in the fresh airs of possibility of what can come from whipping the backside of imagination and watching it run free. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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