Single Review: The Emotional, Theatrical Prowess Of Son Lux’s ‘Live Another Life’

Son Lux | Live Another Life | City Slang

Release Date: 14 October, 2020

Son Lux: made up of composer Ryan Lott, guitarist Rafiq Bhatia and drummer Ian Chang – have a bandcamp biography that reads “a grand, genre-less dream” and there perhaps could not be a more fitting description for the band.

With each release, the musicians showcase an evolution that one may find not only represents a clear, outstanding musical growth whether in technical skill or songwriting techniques: but a personal one – an aspect of Son Lux’s sound that is sheer in its sparkling crystalline development, shining through in composition, lyricism and their conceptual approaches, especially with their latest releases.

Son Lux’s latest single ‘Live Another Life’ is the first stemming from their upcoming release, ‘Tomorrows II‘. Part of three long-format volumes titled Tomorrows, with each part set to be released this year, ‘Tomorrows I‘ – which we reviewed here –  is already a brilliant display of the bands ability to navigate through a plethora of genres so seemingly effortlessly. 

Boasting elements of multiple genres such as: R&B and trip-hop, theatrical post-rock, classical arrangements, ambient soundscapes, jazz, blues – with the list going on, Son Lux not only managed to release an offering that in the composition itself is mesmerising: but captured their intended concept behind the volume exceptionally poignantly, which is a difficult feat, especially when it comes to nuanced, political and social messages one is attempting to convey. 

With the release of ‘Live Another Life’ we see a coherent follow up in style to tracks on the previous volume; with the single capturing an aura that comes across as hypnotically complex – the red threads of fluttering percussion and electronic textures whirling with one another in a frantically controlled chaos – yet still manages to present as a relatively straightforward track at the same time, a gradual flourishing – never straying from its intention. 

The contrast of which makes for a musicality so distinct that one finds themselves in an undertow of emotion, with Lott’s vocals and tender lyrics shimmering with a loving melancholia. As we reach the crescendo of the self-assured, powerful percussion into a magnificent, stirring choir – it allows for the track to cradle a vivid sense of religiosity to it, the flurry of the soundscape transcendental in nature.

The remix released alongside the single – ‘Live Another Life’ (Heal For Me)‘ starring producer Nappy Nina is a gem within itself, with Nappy Nina’s vocal verses rich with emotion as she explores the slowly breaking threads of a relationship; tying in incredibly well with the overall theme and sound Son Lux have conveyed in ‘Live Another Life’.

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Rating: 8.5 / 10

Feature Image: Son Lux by Djeneba Aduayom