Got to see Son Lux open for tUnE-yArDs on Monday night. I’d consider it a new speed record for a band going from unfamiliar to beloved.
OK, so “unfamiliar” isn’t totally accurate. I already knew and loved “Easy,” for one thing. And after a couple songs, it dawned on me that the drummer looked familiar, and hot damn if it wasn’t Ian Chang from Landlady. Made me so happy. His hair was a different color from when I saw him play with Landlady last year, but his mannerisms gave him away. The way he moves when he plays drums — a swaying that would be mistaken for breeziness were it not for the fact that it looks like the beat is pulling him this way and that, just flowing through him. The fact that this happens amid complex polyrhythms is just astounding. (Especially loved seeing him trigger those deep, rhythmically offset sax samples in “Easy.”)
Ryan Lott’s passion came through loud and clear — lots of clenched fists and full-throated high notes that soared — and I loved how quiet the crowd was during songs, letting calm moments breathe and endings release before applause rushed in. Since I don’t know Son Lux’s songs as well as I know tUnE-yArDs’, a few of those silent moments were ambiguous — I didn’t know whether the song was ending or pausing — and I can remember those moments feeling especially joyful and weightless, like either way I’d win. Either I’d just heard an amazing, immaculately constructed song or that amazing, immaculately constructed song was about to explore more territory.
I’ve been catching up on Lanterns since Monday’s show, and it’s all sorts of wonderful. Oh, and Chris Thile plays on track one. I can’t handle anything right now. I couldn’t on Monday night and I still can’t. Three tracks below: “Easy,” “Alternate World” (the song Chris Thile plays mandolin on), and an outstanding new song called “Change Is Everything.” That last one will be on the new Son Lux record, Bones, out June 23. I’ll bet that album and this song end up being among 2015’s very best.