Peaking Lights — husband-and-wife duo Aaron Doyes and Indra Dunis — make distinctly modern music of understated joy and optimism. The pair, clearly both avid crate diggers and knob twiddlers, refract their love of Krautrock, dub and analog synth music into an enthusiastically lo-fi jumble. Listening to Lucifer, where Doyes and Dunis irreverently tinker with, poke and prod these influences, can feel like peering down into the basement of a record store through a kaleidoscope. It’s an album of guts-out experimentation tamed into something intimate and sweet.
The duo have said Lucifer is largely about “play and playfulness” and it’s hard to disagree. “Beautiful Son,” a lilting ballad about, you guessed it, the couple’s new son, is a gently warped groove of electronic pulses buoyed by a spare piano melody and Dunis’s simple and tender vocal. On “LO HI,” baby Mikko can be heard cooing over a shuffling reggae interlude. Talk about playful. Elsewhere, Lucifer teems with sportive sounds — the bubbly romp of a bass line on the frolicking “Live Love” and the addictive, gurgling groove of “Dream Beat” stretch out nearly seven minutes each and set the rollicking tone.
Despite the seemingly weighty recipe of obscure influences and tangled electronics, at the heart of Lucifer is a fun, hallucinatory, rampant spirit. It’s evident the album was a joy to create and, appropriately, it’s a contagious and joyous listen.