At this point, modern music culture moves as fast as the electrons streaming in and out of our cable modems and it can be overwhelming at times. Thankfully there are individuals in this world with skills to capture the echoes of genres past, like cosmologists monitoring background radiation in outer space for evidence of stars who have long since collapsed into black holes or vaporized into super novae. There is knowledge in this long forgotten past and through knowledge comes truth and a better understanding of the present.
Veterans from scenes of yore (Dâm Funk) have surged in popularity recently as youngsters thrift through artistic expression from eras they never lived in to satiate their exponentially growing demand for original content. Here enters Light Asylum with their debut self-titled LP out on Mexican Summer. This unambiguously dope duo out of Brooklyn consists of synth-genius Bruno Cavellio and vocalist Shannon Funchess, a veteran of Brooklyn’s inundated music scene who has collaborated with indie stalwarts like !!! and TV On The Radio. Their debut album is all the rage in the playground at the moment and it would be a shame not to share some of the goods with you all. I mentioned Dâm-Funk before because like him, Shannon has stuck to what she knows best: A spectrum of sounds waist deep in the 80′s ranging from New Wave to Industrial, me gusta . The production is clean yet minimal, allowing the listener to soak in Funchess’ epic vocals in all its sumptuous glory, a love child of Grace Jones and David Bowie.
Opening track “Hour Fortress” really sets the mood for the listener by saturating the aural cavities with 16-bit keys, compressed drum samples and Funchess’ signature voice. There is a lot to be said about Light Asylum’s lyrical content which swings from love and loss to socially conscious dance anthems like “IPC”, detailing the guilty-till-proven-innocent ethos that pervades our post-9/11 culture.
Then there is “Angel Tongue”, which to me is the best track on the album and easily in my top ten tracks of the year. At six minute and forty seconds, this synth-pop odyssey soars to great heights while discussing the struggles of opening up emotionally to people who are unwilling to reciprocate, perhaps a quip to these selfish times. Building up to a near tear-jerking crescendo, this song shows how much of a vocal master Funchess really is as she evokes memories of every break up you ever had… amazing. “Shallow Tears” is further evidence of her OG vocal skills. This daring duet have something really special going on- great debut.
Light Asylum- Hour Fortress
Light Asylum- IPC
Light Asylum- Angel Tongue
Light Asylum- Shallow Tears
Posted by Laurence ‘Pucho’ Henriquez