The Washington D.C. post-dance–punk band Light Beams have just released their new album Wild Life across all digital platforms. The band’s new album was released this past Friday, November 3rd via legendary independent label Dischord Records in partnership with the band’s own imprint Mud Memory.
The album is the band’s first recorded output since expanding from a trio to a five-piece, with the addition of Leah Gage and Erin McCarley on vocals, percussion, and samples to augment Sam Lavine’s explosive drumming and Arthur Noll’s bass. Thematically, Wild Life is an exercise in processing Light Beams vocalist/bandleader Justin Wm. Moyer’s experience covering protests, demonstrations, and ultimately the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol as a journalist on a Pulitzer Prize-winning team documenting the violent, chaotic, and horrific experiences of that day.
Wild Life is a collection of vignettes of post-Trump life that also serves as a grand exploration of our world at large. The compulsion to tease meaning out of the everyday is the cornerstone of Light Beams aesthetic. This is music that reaches towards the unknown, searching for a future for punk in a new century.
As Moyer puts it: “I can’t just do another guitar band after the genius of Beyonce and Rihanna.” Successive generations experience paradigm shifts in music creation; be that home recording, sampling, or sequencing. By offering “block rock” – the band’s name for its sample-based approach – Light Beams carves its own path, juxtaposing dark, lyrical themes against upbeat, polyrhythmic, danceable music. The resulting album is a dauntless exploration of contemporary American life and the most ambitious, fully-realized Light Beams outing yet.
Light Beams will embark on a tour in support of the album that kicks off this week. The full dates are below:
11/1 Cleveland OH at Beachland Ballroom 11/2 Detroit MI at Donovan’s 11/3 Chicago IL at Cafe Mustache 11/4 Madison WI at Communication 11/5 Cincinnati OH at MOTR 11/10 Brooklyn NY at Main Drag 11/17 Charlottesville VA at Visible Records 11/18 Washington, DC at Comet Ping Pong 11/19 Richmond VA at Banditos
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.