The recording project of New York’s Audrey Kang, alongside friends and collaborators, Kevin Copleand and Logan Miley, Lightning Bug first emerged back in 2015 with the critically acclaimed debut album, Floaters. Some four years later the band are set to return this Friday with their second album, October Song. The album has been in the works since Floaters was released and was written both in New York, and while Audrey spent some time in Stockholm.
October Song is a record that, as a listener, seems to envelop you, it pulls you into its hazy, dreamscapes and holds you there in a contemplative, almost meditative state. There’s nine tracks on this album, yet the almost seem to roll into one, mood, an all-encompassing mood, of tension and release, one moment dense and claustrophobic the next sparse and stunningly beautiful. While the over-arching mood doesn’t seem to waver, sonically October Songs is actually in a subtle way, delightfully varied; drifting from the squalling shoegaze of Vision Scraps, to the minimal, lo-fi folk of September Song. The whole record is pinned together by its one constant, Audrey’s vocal: a magnificent instrument capable of fading into the music one second and leaping out on its own the next. October Song is an instantly pleasant listening experience, and one that on every listen seems to grow, to slowly offer up its treasures and give you reasons to return time and time again: a gently remarkable record.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Lightning Bug?
Audrey Kang, Kevin Copeland, and Logan Miley make up Lightning Bug. With the addition of Dane Hagen and Vince Puleo for the live show!
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
I (Audrey) was petrified. I actually left my tuner on (which silences the guitar), so for half of the first song, was strumming pointlessly. Such a classic mistake. It took me years to get over stage fright, but now I’ve conquered it and love performing.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I make music because I have to! It just feels natural – the way I grab a drink of water when I feel thirsty, I start writing a song when I feel it there.
FTR: What can people expect from the Lightning Bug live show?
Live, we’re louder and less perfect, in a good way. The album is full of carefully crafted soundscapes and tones, but playing the songs live lends more freedom. In a way, it’s more expressive.
FTR: What’s next for Lightning Bug?
Every time I think I know what’s next, I get turned on my head. The future is a mystery! But I’m excited to find out.
They Listen To…
1. “Small Town” by Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan
This song brought back the simple beauty in guitar for me. For a while, I was interested in obscuring the sound of the guitar or only using it in certain contexts. But this song reminded me that there’s so much untapped melody embedded in the guitar if you let it breathe and be itself! –Kevin
2. “Tezeta (Nostalgia)” by Mulatu Astatke
This song brims with heartbreak and joy all at once. There’s something so evocative about it. It’s like when you catch a certain scent, and it transports you vividly to a memory…that’s what this song is to me. I highly recommend all of the Éthiopiques! –Audrey
3. “Wild Bird” by Wendy Waldman
Logan showed me this one. I love the soaring melody and her graceful voice. Also love the play of bass, piano and vocals. –Audrey
4. “I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight” by Richard and Linda Thompson
Folk and rock combined so effortlessly, you’d think everyone would know their names. Just so tight knit! An addictive song. I am also tired of working every day, it’s true. –Kevin
5. “Otherwise Fallin In Love With You 1975.10.01” by Les Rallizes Denudes
There are lots of versions of this song, but this one is my favorite. I could listen to their blown-out doo-wop riffs all day. –Logan
October Song out September 6th via Marbled Arm Records. Click HERE for more information on Lightning Bug.