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Much like the ever-changing nature of energy, Indra and Aaron of Peaking Lights continuously evolve along with their music. Here we talk about their new album Lucifer, what influences them most, and walking the line between dark and light.

Interview

BY ALLY MULLEN

Introduce yourselves!

Hi, we're Indra and Aaron, we live in Echo Park, Los Angeles but come from cosmic dust.

Tell us about your new album, Lucifer. What does it sound like?

You'll hear a rhythmic record; a record to zone out to, dance to, whatever! Some say it sounds like the night version of 936. It was recorded in NYC at the Mexican Summer studio, Gary's Electric. We wrote most of it in the studio, jamming and playing with rhythms and all the cool gear at the studio. I [Indra] play a grand piano on it!

What is the album writing process like for you?

We usually start with the rhythms and bass to have a good foundation, and then we jam over that to get the keys, vocals, other synths, and so on. The melodies usually just come out, like they've been waiting in the wings.

What’s the hardest part about making an album? the Easiest?

The hardest part is making it manifest; the easiest is writing it and getting in the creative space to record and jam. It's the practical stuff that makes it harder to write and record, like, “Do we have a babysitter?” (Laughs.) But once we get in the zone, it's the best feeling

Why the name Lucifer?

Lucifer originally means morning star, Venus, and refers to events this year, new beginnings, first signs of light, microcosm and macrocosm, and shared events and cycles.

The title could be perceived as kind of dark. Do you have an interest in the dark side?

It’s not an interest in the dark side—dark and light coexist. Without one there would not be the other. It's more like walking on that tight rope between the two—it’s a very thin line. We all create our own realities with our thoughts and you can live on whatever side of that line that you want. Often times most of us live in both, sometimes people take a step into one or the other too much, both equally as destructive, but we need those changes to progress. When one of them gets out of balance it will be evened out.

What is your favorite song on the album?

I think we will always have a soft spot for the record. It was such a killer experience. But of course I think for both of us “LO HI” is really special because our son Mikko singing on it was so amazing! Watching him realize that his voice was going into the microphone and coming out the speakers was priceless!

Who are your biggest musical influences?

Well, not sure if it's who as much as what. We're both attracted to an aesthetic that’s open to being influenced, fluid and liquid like. It’s in the vibe that we get from whatever it is we are listening to at the moment. We have both gone through different musical listening phases in our life from punk to no wave to psych, noise, techno, krautrock, reggae, and now we listen to a lot of dub, techno, disco, afro beat, and Latin. It's too much to list individual artists but more about having an openness to be inspired by it all.

You seem to be very into the spiritual universe. Have any ghost stories?

Of course! Just recently we bought a chair, it’s very old and was made from a solid piece of wood, which was struck by lightning. It’s a beautiful chair, but when we brought it into our house we noticed tensions and other strange things out of character. Sitting one night with the chair I realized that it had a spirit attached to it—it was an old man and he was confused. We had to help him move on. Used things often hold some sort of imprint on them. Some can carry spirits. It's real. Energy doesn't just end, it’s always changing.

Give your album a shoutout.

Lucifer is out June 18 on Mexican Summer in the US, and Weird World (Domino) for the rest of the world. It was a great experience recording it at the Mexican Summer studio in Brooklyn. We produced it ourselves. It was engineered by Al Carlson, who did additional mixing and laid some killer flute on “LO HI.” Also Mikko, our son, did awesome vocals! It was great to have our friends Claire, Phoebe, Steven and Pete make the party zone in “LO HI.”