Son Lux’s Lanterns won my album of the year 2013 and so I was delighted to see an EP of alternate versions to the tracks pop into my Bandcamp feed.
The four tracks reinvent the original tracks and some of them work a tad better than others. “Alternate World (Alternate Age)” reinvents the song into a more grittier and dirtier track where a lot of extra vocal work is bought out from the recesses of the mix to the fore. It easily is a match for the original and you could swap one for the other and they’d both fit perfectly on the album. Much of the excitement is on Lorde’s guest vocals on the rearranging of “Easy” after she covered it. “Easy (Switch Screens)” works well because it takes away a lot of the organ works and leaves you with a dank growling bass and trumpets. Lorde snarls the minimalistic vocals and it is twisted and warped with Son Lux’s to make a haunting omni voice. It’s great although I prefer the original, I hope this just raises Son Lux’ profile further.
“Build A Pyre (Begin Again)” takes the original Pyre track and glitches it to high heaven. It reminds me of the TEAR single that I adored but this doesn’t quite freak out in the right direction for it to work as well as that piece. “Lost It To Trying (Mouths Only Lying)” takes the explosive track and turns it into an interesting organ and vocal led track. It lacks the power as it feels at odds with itself but it has grown on me with each listen.
These tracks are very much alternate versions and are really for fans and not the best place to start. They are quite minimalist with percussion and bass line really pushing the way. You miss all the amazing works that you usually expect and so it falls a bit flat on initial listen. Fan already? Yes go buy! Starting out? Go for Lanterns or We Are Rising first!