Lynx takes melancholy to a grand scale on Light Up Your Lantern.
GypsyPop Records, 2013
5.0 / 10
Known for her live appearances at Coachella, Austin City Limits festival, Boom festival, as well as improv collaborations with Bassnectar, Matisyahu, John Popper and more, Lynx has established quite a fanbase for herself while being touted as a multi-instrumentalist, producer, vocalist, beat-boxer and genre masher. Beat-boxer? Really? After previously releasing On The Horizon in 2010, Lynx is back with the Tommy Cappel (Beats Antique) produced album, Light Up Your Lantern. The new album was funded entirely via Kickstarter, raising more than $15,000. While not exactly Amanda Palmer money, it’s an impressive feat for a virtually unknown artist with only one album under her belt. Light Up Your Lantern backs up Lynx’s claim for a genre masher as the album spans folk, chamber pop, and electronic soundscapes while the songwriting is…well, I’ll get to that in a few.
Light Up Your Lantern sounds BIG for an independent release, and it’s quite clear that the $15,000+ was used wisely in helping decorate the album with its well-produced musical scenery. “Southern Skies” is especially epic, featuring folk pluckings, electronic textures and horns (or horn-like synths). Lynx shows a knack for balancing the delicate and destructive within her songs where soft moments often lead into explosive, multi-layered booms. The album’s violin-heavy title track sounds like a call for revolution, and its lyrics match that sentiment of taking to the sea to find a new country and escape the old. Is this merely a statement on America’s history or a commentary of current times? This is one of the album’s best moments on an album. Light Up Your Lantern would have you believe it’s full of many. Sadly, it’s not.
Light Up Your Lantern is musically experimental, and its songwriting strays from the typical and expected relationship fare to have its listeners believe its more unique than it actually is. However, there’s nothing challenging or even interesting once making it past the album’s title track1. This starts immediately on the following song, “Stones”, that is technically sound but goes so moody that it’s lethargic and will leave many rubbing sleep out of their eyes rather than tears. Lynx nails it when she sings, “The only ones that last are the stones”. Everyone else will be searching for something different to listen to. The rest of Light Up Your Lantern matches “Stones” in its overly pitiful personality, seemingly presenting melancholy on a grand scale. “Come Crazy” signifies the album’s personality best and will likely be heard in a forthcoming CW teenager drama to fall in the background a of a somber moment. It’s a vast sadness; behold its pain and misery! That could actually be a line from any song on this album, but it’s not.
Obviously Lynx has a strong fanbase, but I’d argue that much of this is because her music lends itself very easily to listeners (especially the younger impressionable ones). However, it’s not as challenging or different from everything else as they might think. Each song’s construct feels similar while not exhibiting enough change or instrumental versatility as say Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, Torres, Julia Holter, or Jenny Hval2. Light up your lanterns in the direction of those artists instead.
“Light Up Your Lantern”
1. The fourth song on the album.
2. Jenny Hval is only meant for the most exploratory individuals.