Prepared to be engulfed in a luminous, pop galaxy, ok? Husband and wife duo, Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis, aka Peaking Lights, are bringing their sensual sound back for their recently released album, ‘Cosmic Logic’. The album is a stripped down version of their previous efforts into a more concise pop sound; icy and minimal with dub and disco flourishes, but mostly, it’s a new adventure. We got to ask them a few questions about their music and musings, check it:
LA CANVAS: How did Peaking Lights form?
PEAKING LIGHTS: Aaron and I got together in 2006 in San Francisco, and began jamming together right away. At that time I was mainly playing drums, and Aaron guitar and homemade noise synths—we tried to make music loosely krautrock and psych inspired. Then I joined his project, Rahdunes, which was a fun move into drone-psych-noise. But it was when we moved from the Bay to the woods of Wisconsin that we really developed Peaking Lights. We were isolated and needed a project to focus on. Our idea was to make “fucked modern pop” whatever that may be! We are still inspired by that idea.
LAC: Tell us about “Cosmic Logic”, what inspired the album and where you are taking listeners with your sounds?
PL: Every record we’ve done we have tried to push ourselves to try new things, and this one is by far the most crisp and pop oriented. In the past, we’ve relied a lot on delay and noisey fuzz, intentionally layering and burying some of the home made sounds we use. So for this record we wanted to take those weird noise synth sounds and use them in a new way – to make percussion sounds for example. Then we focused more on catchy melodies over heavily developed rhythms. We recorded it in our home studio in Los Angeles, where we live now, over about a year so we had a lot more time to think about things and develop, it’s good to give yourself time to do some editing I think, especially when theres just two of you bouncing back and forth with each other! It can be a crazy bubble sometimes, working with each other. It’s nice to finally get our record out into the world!
LAC: We got a chance to see you at a show you did in Santa Barbara. The visuals that went along with the music really created an atmospheric experience. What is the creative process behind a live Peaking Lights show?
PL: Well, our live show has gone through several phases, in the beginning we were more concerned with playing our songs right rather than having a crazy stage show, but right now we are trying to be more interactive, thinking about the live experience more. Visuals are a great tool for creating a vibe for sure. We’re in the process of putting together something new. Also our new songs have some groove and we’ve been having some great dance parties lately.
LAC: How has being parents shaped your music?
PL: I think it’s changed the way we write music together, mainly. Since we work from home, we take turns watching the kids and working in the studio, which means most of the time we are writing a part to a song alone, and then the other person will listen and add to it when they get their turn. It’s kinda like working with someone long distance, only we’re not! But when we really need to we get a babysitter so we can focus together. Having little kids provides endless inspiration though, they are amazing little beings that open your eyes to a lot of stuff you have forgotten about with age. They totally live in the moment, and are fascinated by everyday things we take for granted, like dirt and rocks and squirrels. 🙂
LAC: How has being artists in Los Angeles shaped your work?
PL: It’s inspiring here right now, lots of active artists, musicians, DJs. Its a huge city with lots going on all the time, being around that energy is inspiring and pushes you to do more. Also the weather and nature escapes are a great, there’s so much natural life mixed in with all the parks and beaches. We live in Echo Park and theres coyotes up here, and owls and skunks. Our dog has been sprayed four times this summer, ha! But living here has given us a positive spin on things which I think comes out in our work.
Spin, spin, spin, y’all.