Continuing with the swirling, celestial dream-daze jams, we have “Lucifer,” the newest moony missive from ex-Wisconsin / currently Cali duo Peaking Lights, aka husband and wife Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis. The couple’s second album, “936,” checked in as my 24th favorite album of 2011, although that’s probably too low, in retrospect. It was rising at the time that I had to stop fretting and hit the “Publish” button. Anyway, the point is that “936” was a wonderfully listenable little breeze that seemed to come out of nowhere, so my expectations were high when bits of new Peaking Lights material began surfacing online.
And after streaming this thing about 30 times over the past couple of weeks, I’m beginning to think Coyes and Dunis exceeded not only those expectations, but perhaps the bar they set with “936” as well. “Lucifer” is enthralling, a sun-streaked crystalization of the influences that make this band so interesting: dusty digital dub, lo-fi disco and burbling synth-pop, all cocooned in a hypnotic haze and set at a stubbornly stuttering motorik pace. It’s a recipe that acknowledges the current trend toward home-recording aesthetics, but also incorporates unexpected combinations of sounds and a stronger sense of pop craftsmanship that just about any buzzy band out there right now.
Neither “936” nor “Lucifer” bowled me over immediately, of course. That is not what Peaking Lights does. Instead, this band and this music will, if you let it, infiltrate your ears, soak into your brain and creep into your bloodstream. Again, if you let it. That’s what this thingy below is for. Better yet, buy the album from Mexican Summer or from the band when they play the Sometimes A Great Notion festival in Portland on July 29.