The first time you hear the latest Sophe Lux release, Waking the Mystics (available now), your memory might flood with glittering bits and pieces of other artists — Kate Bush, the Decemberists, Queen — but by the second or third time around, you’ll be hard-pressed to categorize this Portland, Oregon–based quintet. The band’s second album is packed with ambitious songs that range from moody minor-key melodies to full-throttle majestic mini–rock operas.
Sophe Lux’s lead singer and songwriter, Gwyneth Haynes, is the sister of flamboyant filmmaker Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, Far from Heaven) and clearly has inherited a family flair for theatrics. Her voice has a wondrous, shape-shifting quality — soft and delicate one moment, manic and banshee-like the next — as the group cheekily tackles topics from somnambulism to robots. Don’t miss the standout tracks “Target Market,” “Little Soldier of Time,” and the awesomely schizophrenic “Electra 33.”
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