Blue Ivy Carter, meet a great potential playmate. Mikko, the 13-month-old son of Peaking Lights duo Indra Dunis and Aaron Coyes, is a constant presence on the dub-pop pair’s upcoming album, Lucifer. On “Lo Hi,” a previous advance MP3 from the record, that presence is literal, as Mikko can be heard cooing and gurgling, inna “Glory” stylee.
On “Beautiful Son,” posted this morning by Pitchfork, Mikko is the presumed subject, and the result is Peaking Lights’ most glorious (no Jay-Z — remix opportunity?) track yet, better even than “All the Sun That Shines,” the standout off of last year’s excellent 936 LP. Although, in a neat twist, the songs have remarkably similar themes: “Beautiful son / Son, shine,” Dunis murmurs, her serene voice sounding more confident than ever, and if not for the title it’d be an open question whether she’s singing about a son or “the sun.”
Musically, “Beautiful Son” is lovely, too, feeling at once intimate and cosmic. Though the band’s early discography on such labels as Not Not Fun and Night People includes a bit of challengingly lo-fi material, this track manages to be lucid and approachable while still maintaining Peaking Lights’ spacey essence — not only for chillwave, dub, and krautrock heads, but also, it strikes us, a perfect addition for anyone who digs the the mellow lunar voyages of French duo Air. Clear yet slightly off-kilter piano gives the track a homespun feel, while the duo’s synths, some of which they design themselves, and languidly rambling guitar lift off toward the unknown, or at least the morning star.
That last, after all, is the reference contained in the album title: Before “Lucifer” meant the devil, it referred to the astral body we call Venus, the first glimmer of morning’s arrival. “Beautiful Son,” then, is a song for dawns — of a child’s life, of a day, of a talented couple’s music career, of your weekend, or whatever you like. Lucifer, Peaking Lights’ first album for Mexican Summer (Best Coast, Washed Out, Light Asylum), rises onto record store shelves on June 19.