A couple of weeks ago, we posted a reinterpretation of a Liz Janes track by Ryan Lott — aka Son Lux — that made excellent use of an array of bells to sound like those windchimes on your grandmother’s porch. It was a creative, compelling take on a fellow musician’s work. Well, Lott is quite capable of producing his own wonderful music, and “Rising” is pretty strong proof.
Lott was tapped by NPR in February for the station’s RPM project, which challenges an artist to complete an album in one month whilst their every move is recorded for posterity. The result is We Are Rising, which will be released on Anticon April 26. Lott had help from an awfully talented cast of characters that included The National, Sufjan Stevens and Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond.
“Rising” is interesting for its layers and for its obvious urgency. String samples laid on top of woodwinds, mingled with keys and other electronic sounds create a spliced but smooth tapestry of sound. And then there is Lott’s voice, which to me sounds like a combination of Brandon Flowers and Cloud Cult’s Craig Minowa. In fact, the music feels an awful lot like Cloud Cult — raw, quivering emotion channeled into a wonderful array of both classical and contemporary instrumentation.
This first taste of We Are Rising has some cool peaks and valleys, and is varied enough to keep the ear attentive from start to finish. Lott doesn’t overload the listener until the song’s crescendo calls for it near the end. Then it’s confusion and delight — but mostly delight. Check out “Rising” below, along with a neat look at the making of We Are Rising‘s album art, courtesy of The Made Shop, Anticon and NPR.