Recorded over a 15 month period in the Horrors’ East London studio/laboratory/bunker with co-producer, Craig Silvey, who has worked with the likes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire and the National, Luminous is the much-anticiapted and long-awaited follow up to their critically applauded 2011 release, Skying.
The members of the London-based quintet were determined to write material that was brighter, more positive and much more electronic. Bassist Rhys Webb has been quoted as saying that the intent was to “ … make music you can dance to, music that elevates …” And with that in mind, Tom Cowan, the band’s keyboardist mentioned that not only were the Beatles and Black Sabbath part of the band’s influences on this effort, but Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, J. Dilla, Metroplex/Trax Records, soul, dub step and psychedelia.
“I See You,” the first single off Luminous is as you can tell from what I’ve mentioned earlier is actually more of a refinement of the band’s sound than it is a radical change in sonic direction – the pulsating and glistening synths not only are reminiscent of Kraftwerk and Brian Eno in the sense that they create an ambient, atmospheric mood, they also propel the song forward. However, the song manages to maintain the psychedelic sensibility that has won them fans on both sides of the pond – while being remarkably danceable. In some way, it feels much like taking hallucinogens while under strobe light. Lyrically, the song is much brighter as it’s narrator sings about love and the delicate beauty of life – it’s upbeat in a way that is infectious. Interestingly, the song kind of reminds me of Gary Numan’s “Cars” at points. Yeah, seriously.
As the folks at Stereogum mentioned, the song “…. sounds like the first Horrors song that could really fill a stadium.” I agree but I can envision the band playing this song in a large stadium with strobe lights and smoke machines, building on a groove while creating an eerily beautiful sense of calm.