“Plans We Made” marks the first single from TOMORROWS, an ambitious, three-volume album set to unfurl over the coming year; TOMORROWS I, the cycle’s masterful first chapter, arrives everywhere via City Slang on Friday, August 14. The track – which features guest vocals from acclaimed singer-songwriter Kadhja Bonet – immediately establishes TOMORROWS’ reverberant approach, its clock-like pulsebeat, sharp stabs, and lashing string sounds expertly conveying the band’s lyrical struggles with inevitability, the arc of time, and the fragility of our best intentions.
Son Lux’s sixth full-length studio LP, TOMORROWS sees the always inventive trio – Ryan Lott, Rafiq Bhatia, and Ian Chang – training their sights on volatile principles: imbalance, disruption, collision, redefinition. But for all of its instability, the project’s exploration of breaking points and sustained frictional places is ultimately in service of something rewarding and necessary – the act of questioning, challenging, tearing down and actively rebuilding one’s own identity.
“We’re peeling things apart and putting them back together throughout this record,” says Lott. “Emotionally, relationally, and musically.”
While the epic and intimate music of TOMORROWS has been in development for the last three years, the album’s lyrical content was written over the last three months, masterfully reflecting the tumultuous energy and paradigm shifts of our current situation. Arriving at a time of considerable uncertainty in the world, TOMORROWS is bold in both its awesome scope and grand intent. With their active, intentional approach to shaping sound, Son Lux once again remind us of the necessity of questioning assumptions, and of sitting with the tension.
“The sound of Son Lux is discovered through a very intentional and deliberate process of experimentation where the end result is often entirely unknown,” says Lott. “We’re constantly exploring and trying out different options. We can’t anticipate what the music will become.”
Hailed by Drowned in Sound for “bringing order to heaps of seemingly chaotic and dissonant sounds, and fashioning melody out of the unorthodox,” Son Lux has operated as something akin to a sonic test kitchen from its very start, ever questioning deeply held assumptions about how music is made and then re-constructing it from a molecular level. The band began as a solo project by Los Angeles-based founder Ryan Lott but expanded in 2014 with the involvement of drummer Ian Chang and guitarist Rafiq Bhatia. The geographically and culturally diverse trio strengthened their chemistry and honed their collective intuition on five acclaimed recordings, including 2015’s BONES and 2018’s BRIGHTER WOUNDS. With each new work, Son Lux has forwarded their uniquely mercurial vision, their brilliantly fluid approach to genre and structure drawing on a genre-agnostic groundwork of soul, hip-hop, and experimental improvisation. Balancing raw emotional intimacy and meticulous electronic constructions, Son Lux have crafted a carefully cultivated musical language all their own, rooted in curiosity, individuality, and commanding creativity.
TOMORROWS marks the first new Son Lux LP since 2018’s BRIGHTER WOUNDS, hailed by Pitchfork for its “searching introspection and dramatic gestures.” “Richly detailed and sonically varied,” declared Slant, “an album that’s grimly effective at conjuring unease.” BRIGHTER WOUNDS is “a kaleidoscopic record ruminating on loss, memory, time, and rebirth, with nods to spiraling chamber pop, skittering electro, fractured R&B, and theatrical synth-rock,” wrote The AV Club, praising the combination of “disparate styles on the same song, which often leads to transcendence.”