Lotus released their newest studio album, Eat the Light, on July 15. The album heralds yet another foray into uncharted territory by the rock quintet, and has something to offer fans old and new.
The album signals a number of firsts for the band. For the first time in the band’s nearly-fifteen-year recording history, every track features vocals. The vocals themselves offer a second layer of surprises. The band has incorporated female vocals for the first time in addition to male vocals. And though the band has previously incorporated male vocals, here too they’ve mixed it up – the lead vocalists on two of the tracks is none other than bassist Jesse Miller. These two tracks are the first original tracks in Lotus history to feature lead vocals by one of the band members.
Yet the album is authentic Lotus as well. Eat the Light follows in the band’s tradition of exploring the boundaries of sound, busting out of the confines of genre to provide a surprising and fresh take on music in a world that all too often seems content with artists that do no more than dial it in. Lovers of 70s era disco and modern electronic dance music alike will no doubt fall for the percussive heartbeat, driving bass lines, and groovy string samples of “Fearless,” which features the passionate vocals of Philadelphia soul singer-songwriter Mutlu Onaral (known for his work with Hall & Oates and Amos Lee). And fans of “Sodium Vapor” may not immediately recognize the song with its updated lyrics and altered composition, but will surely rejoice once they realize it has finally made its way onto a studio recording. Others will find themselves drawn in by the island vibes of “White Light Fadeaway”, for both its summery flair and its vocals, provided by long-time Lotus collaborator Steve Yutzy-Burkey (who has sung on “Tip of the Tongue,” “the Surf,” and numerous other tracks).
There may be no better time to release this album than in the heat of summer. The album takes its name from the idea of the Magic Hour, just before sunset and right after sunrise, when photographers, cinematographers, and artists in general say everything looks its most beautiful. Both the image conjured by the “Magic Hour” and Eat the Light bring to mind a summer night that ends with the rising sun. Guitarist and keyboardist Luke Miller says of it, “I wanted Eat the Light to be a celebratory album that people could sing along to while driving down the California coast. This is the sound of summer that makes you want to dance and raise your hands to the sky.” So, when July 15 rolls around, put this baby on your portable music player, roll down the windows, press play, and see where the music takes you. Chances are you’ll find something about it that tickles your fancy.
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Greg Sarafan founded Greg Sarafan’s Sensible Reason in 2007. He started blogging for HeadCount in January 2011. Soon after he organized and ran a small but successful charity festival called Binghamtronica to benefit HeadCount and OxFam America. He is a Team Leader in NYC as well as Artist Relations representative for HeadCount. Greg has BAs in political science and art history from Binghamton University. Greg has a J.D. as well as a Certificate in Intelectual Property, Media and Privacy from Brooklyn Law School . Greg also volunteers for OxFam America as a Concert Outreach Coordinator. In 2009 Greg presented his theory of Artistic Stylistic Transmission in the Royal Mughal Atelier at an art history symposium at Ohio State University.