Son Lux – At War With Walls and Mazes

I was so surprised when I saw the album title, I’d never heard of Son Lux but hunted for more. I heard “break” and loved it and purchased the album. Son Lux combines minimal music and vocals with a tapestry of ambience that settles so nicely between dramatic and mellow you can’t help but fall into its world. “Prologue” is a spoken layered vocal before “Break” gives us crashing drums for a minute before minimal piano and light whispering vocals soothe you from the harsh begin. It’s here you know your in good hands. “Weapons” is a freaky electronic pulsing piece that’s about as heavy as the album gets with its intense middle and distorted noises.

The hip-hop feel comes out for “Betray” for the most direct song on the album which then stops and goes slow-mo for the final minute.  “Stay” is dramatic like a channel 4 advert for its logo with its deep rich string arrangements. “Raise” reminds me of a mix of various stages of Bjork’s career.

“Tell” is an empty track with much solace and downbeat electric and acoustic music but despite not being happy it still manages to soothe and calm you down.  It’s such a bizarre feeling but you can’t help it. This is opposed with the real down and dirty track “Wither” which is dark and bass infested. Somewhere inbetween the intricate piano led track “Stand” can easily bring you to tears. It’s been sometime since I can say that three tracks give you such a emotional ride, especially the climax which is like seeing the light and the end of a dark, dark tunnel. “War” then fades you out with what feels like you reaching out to death and letting go to the other side.  “Epilogue” is then a beautiful end-credits like song where you open your eyes in a new plain – like you’ve broken the maze and bashed through the walls.

It’s been a while since a debut has sent me on such an emotional roller-coaster. I’m so glad I found this on the off chance. I recommend it whole hearted and this will definitely be in with a big chance of album of the year 2008.

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