Released: Monday 18 June 2012
So we're hit with yet another male/female duo, another husband and wife team. Seems quite popular these days - a throw-back to the 70s and the days of Donny & Marie and The Carpenters. Lucifer is another perfect summer album, nice and laidback, with a sprinkling of that new-indie drone and the same lo-fi feel as a lot of duo releases like Tennis, Moon Duo and Summer Camp but with the Peaking Lights couple's distinct dub beats - think Portishead or Morcheeba.
Actually, Aaron Doyes and Indra Dunis have probably been around the longest of this new breed, with this being their third album among other releases over the last four or five years. It's a move on from the anaolgue sounding 936 album which was filled with short, sharp fuzziness and for some reason courted all sorts of criticism about the couple's hippy ways. What that has to do with the quality of their musical output goodness knows, no one criticised Tennis for being posh-nobs who'd been on a sailing trip - but that was
Opener 'Moonrise' is quite ethereal and dream-like with beautiful abstract chimes. The track is merely an intro - everything else on here is more than six minutes long. Lucifer is a little bit Krautrock, electronic and dubby but not too heavy, with a mix of sounds all nicely laced together into a balearic sounding chillout album. 'Beautiful Son', with the balearic guitar used on those 90s dance hits, is absolutely a sunset and cocktails track. Indra's echoing, haunting vocals work well with the mellow, plodding drums and trancey, psychedelic sounds.
'Live Love' and 'Cosmic Tides' bring the same vibes as Summer Camp Young EP, but by 'Midnight (in the Valley of Shadows)' and 'LO HI', things are becoming repetitive. The album has substance, experience, understanding of the music being put out, but seeing as this is Peaking Lights' third release, and despite their obvioius aptitude in honing this kind of laidback sound, each song is very much the same. But then again, this isn't the type of music where you find many soaring melodies or dancy hooks, although some differentiation between tracks would be good rather than being two-thirds of the way through thinking you could still be on the second song.
The album perks up towards the end with strange synth sounds over the typical beats and vocals on 'Dream Beat', and ends with an outro, 'Morning Star', much the same as the intro, all space oddity sounds and airy-fairyness. Overall, Peaking Lights' sedate journey is a touch too predictable to be truly psychedelic.