Son Lux is the grand genre-less dream of Los Angeles composer Ryan Lott brought to roiling, vivid life with the help of two New Yorkers, guitarist Rafiq Bhatia and drummer Ian Chang. Each is a writer, producer, and performer with omnivorous taste and a penchant for wild improvisation.
Launched in 2008 with At War with Walls & Mazes, Son Lux was initially a solo affair, the result of a classically trained mind straining against the constraints of the medium, turning piles of self-sourced note snippets into pulsing digital orchestras. Across 2011's We Are Rising and 2013's Lanterns, Lott maintained his auteur approach while broadening the Son Lux sound and guest list to unexpected results. The latter album drew the attention of several major pop acts, many of whom who incorporated moments from the album into their own works. Lorde even teamed up on a redux of "Easy," and covered the song on tour.
In recent years, the project's list of collaborators has grown to include Woodkid, Moses Sumney, members of the Antlers, My Brightest Diamond, Olga Bell, and yMusic (who also contribute strings, winds, and brass to Brighter Wounds). Lott's extracurriculars have included starting a rap-pop-folk band with Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti called Sisyphus, and scoring films like The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby and Paper Towns. Bhatia and Chang, accomplished soloists and collaborators in their own right, were first brought on as touring musicians but soon found a home in Son Lux, cowriting 2015's Bones with Lott while on the road. Their 2018 album Brighter Wounds initially took shape remotely—the distance allowing Lott to sift through life-altering events—and was finalized together.