9 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“There was no road map for this whatsoever,” Karen O told Beats 1 about her far-out collaboration with Brian Burton, the Grammy-winning producer known as Danger Mouse (Beck, Gorillaz, Broken Bells). Such stylistic freedom may have felt new for the singer, who has spent the past two decades fronting the New York rock trio the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But after concluding her label contract and, in 2015, giving birth to her first child, she suddenly faced a blank canvas—a fresh start that pushed her in a new direction: “Brian and I realized that we had a similar love for '90s R&B dance music.”

Colorful, funky, and experimental, Lux Prima is a vision quest of distorted synths and lo-fi atmospheres littered with left turns: the spoken-word mutterings on “Drown,” the combative chants and howls on “Woman,” the disco-fied seduction of “Leopard’s Tongue.” On the gauzy, groovy “Turn the Light,” she mixes Donna Summer escapism with off-kilter soul. “Starry, starry night/This is how I want to live,” she sings in a weightless whisper. “Gonna lay me down in love/I got so much more to give.” “We were making an album we were trying to listen to as opposed to making an album that we wanted to play,” Burton said. “So that's kind of how we made the record.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

“There was no road map for this whatsoever,” Karen O told Beats 1 about her far-out collaboration with Brian Burton, the Grammy-winning producer known as Danger Mouse (Beck, Gorillaz, Broken Bells). Such stylistic freedom may have felt new for the singer, who has spent the past two decades fronting the New York rock trio the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But after concluding her label contract and, in 2015, giving birth to her first child, she suddenly faced a blank canvas—a fresh start that pushed her in a new direction: “Brian and I realized that we had a similar love for '90s R&B dance music.”

Colorful, funky, and experimental, Lux Prima is a vision quest of distorted synths and lo-fi atmospheres littered with left turns: the spoken-word mutterings on “Drown,” the combative chants and howls on “Woman,” the disco-fied seduction of “Leopard’s Tongue.” On the gauzy, groovy “Turn the Light,” she mixes Donna Summer escapism with off-kilter soul. “Starry, starry night/This is how I want to live,” she sings in a weightless whisper. “Gonna lay me down in love/I got so much more to give.” “We were making an album we were trying to listen to as opposed to making an album that we wanted to play,” Burton said. “So that's kind of how we made the record.”

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