Lightning Dust should be seen in the smallest possible venue; its music is so spare and raw that its music could easily get drowned out. With singer Amber Webber's quivering vibrato and Joshua Wells' warm piano accompaniment — and filled out with backing vocals from Ashley Webber and the percussion of Ryan Peters — the group specializes in quiet moments, whether in a shared glance or a finely knit harmony.
Before forming Lightning Dust, Wells and Amber Webber performed together in the Canadian rock band Black Mountain, known for its soaring rock riffs and neo-psychedelic moods. But on its self-titled 2007 debut, Lightning Dust winnowed Black Mountain's sound down to a stark, mesmerizing mix of haunting folk and arty pop, awash in pulsing organ tones.
Its latest record, this summer's superb Infinite Light, continues that trend with a sunnier instrumental palette, in the process infusing Lightning Dust's sepia-toned songs with a touch of country. With its inventive arrangements, the duo works to expand its sound beyond pop-song templates. Lightning Dust's slippery lyrics exude heartbreak and yet evoke a fragile feeling of falling in love and finding happiness. It's these moments that bring joy to their faces in this quietly stirring Tiny Desk Concert at Bob Boilen's desk.
To watch last week's Tiny Desk Concert with Andrew W.K., click here.