credit: Leah Gage
On their just-released album Wild Life, DC dance punks Light Beams paint a surreal portrait of a world filtered through front person Justin Moyer’s recent experiences as a protest reporter (and a member of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol). The shadow of the attack looms large over the record as the quintet acutely distills nine songs into a twenty-five-minute package that voyages through insurrection deep into the bittersweet heart of 21st-century America. From their self-titled debut album through 2020’s Self Help, Light Beams have eschewed traditional melody instruments in favor of Moyer’s minimalist samplers and vocals, Sam Lavine’s drumming and Arthur Noll’s basslines. On Wild Life, they expand this palette with the addition of Leah Gage (vocals, rototoms) and Erin McCarley (vocals, timbales, samples). The result: bigger sounds, bigger themes, and a bigger canvas.
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