Most of the bands that play the Tiny Desk strip down their sound to accommodate the limited space and unconventional acoustics of an office. But Son Lux chose to do the exact opposite. Normally a trio of guitar, drums and keys based out of New York, the band blew up its sound for this performance, adding off-duty, civilian horn players from the United States Marine Band.
In spite of the more elaborate production — and extra decibels — Son Lux still made the performance intimate, in part by peeling back the otherwise-complex layers of each song and drawing out the most essential elements, particularly frontman Ryan Lott's voice. Known in part for his fragile falsetto, Lott belts out the vocals here like he's delivering power ballads.
At the Tiny Desk, the group focused entirely on Son Lux's latest album, Bones, opening with "You Don't Know Me" and following with "Now I Want." It closed with the gorgeous and moving "Your Day Will Come." Throughout the performance, Lott intermittently conducts the group as it dissects simple four-four time signatures into ever smaller slices, intentionally landing on the off beats. It's one of Son Lux's trademark devices for live sets, and it helps keep the audience from getting too comfortable.
Bones was released earlier this summer on Glassnote. It's Son Lux's fourth full-length album. The band is currently on a European tour through the fall.
- "You Don't Know Me"
- "Now I Want"
- "Your Day Will Come"
Producers: Robin Hilton, Morgan Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Walker, Nick Michael, Lani Milton; Assistant Producer: Elena Saavedra Buckley; photo by Lani Milton/NPR