WATCH: Lightleak’s Sympathy For The Vibration

Catch the latest single and video from Chicago indie stalwart Dustin Currier’s latest creation exclusively on Rock & Roll Globe

Dustin Currier is Lightleak (Image: Model Love Songs)

While everyone else in the press might be honking about the hot young new boy band outta NYC called Geese, the Rock & Roll Globe is a flutter for this new group Lightleak from Chicago, Illinois. 

The brainchild of Windy City indie stalwart Dustin Currier, Tender Fits marks his first LP under the Lightleak moniker. Crafted as a means of expanding upon his sonic scope, the public school teacher utilized his time holding his classes remotely during the thick of the quarantine to create Tender Fits, seemingly working of the James Chance model of combining brass instruments and wiry, post-punk angularity that is reminiscent of Fugazi if Guy Picciotto played pocket trumpet exclusively in the band on a session produced by Dave Fridmann. 

Assisting Currier in the creation of Tender Fits is the great Chad Clark of Beauty Pill and Dismemberment Plan) behind the mixing board; Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz, Sad13), Vivian McConnell (V.V. Lightbody), and Krystal Rosenbrock on additional vocals; Seth Engel (Options) on drums; Ben Grigg (Geronimo!) on trumpet; and Logan Bloom on trombone. Tender Fits will be the inaugural release for Currier’s new record label, Model Love Songs. In addition to a full digital release, the limited edition 160-gram LP contains a 10-page DIY “zine” insert.

The Rock & Roll Globe is honored that we’ve been chosen to premiere the new single off Tender Fits, the super-warm “Sympathetic Vibration,” today on the site. 

“In 2017, a poetry-centric theatre company called Chicago Slam Works approached me to make a song for their play called ‘Carrier,'” Currier explains with regard to the song’s premise. “The play dealt with a spectrum of family dynamics, using the concepts of both what we inherit from our elders and what we choose to do with that, and their prompt for me contained a bunch of questions that the play was attempting to explore. I ended up making an early version of ‘Sympathetic Vibration’ with the intent to create something ‘floaty’ and textural, which set the tone and posed some of those same questions to the play-goer. One of the musical references they gave me was a song called ‘Quiet’ by Paul Simon. I’d never heard it before then, but it spoke deeply to me and gave me the artistic permission I needed to use space in this arrangement.

“When the rest of Tender Fits and its lyrical themes started coming together, it occurred to me that ‘Sympathetic Vibration’ would fit really nicely in there as both a familial exploration of radical love and a respite from some of the louder or more percussive material. There are no drums or traditional electric guitar or bass parts on it. And while it is very consonant and sonically beautiful, I wanted to accomplish that by using traditionally harsh or unpleasant sounds like guitar static and abrasive synths. A family, whether you’re born into it or you choose it, can be a beautiful thing, but it’s often populated with complicated moments and dynamics. What ended up making the song really special for me, though, is Vivian [McConnell, aka V.V. Lightbody] and her unbelievable harmonies—there is such a layered density to them, and the way she forms chords that reveal themselves over time is just breathtaking.”

Lightleak Tender Fits, Model Love Songs 2021

Further enhancing the lilting waves of harmony and dissonance on “Sympathetic Vibration” is the accompanying video directed by Emily Dupree, a Chicago-based artist and philosopher who took cues from one of her favorite Douglas Sirk films to set the scene for the song.

“Dustin’s music is deeply compassionate and I wanted to respect that spirit of curiosity and humility,” she tells Rock & Roll Globe. “So the video alternates between family homes filled with the possessions of patriarchs and matriarchs long-gone, and a barren studio setting with just a backdrop and washes of saturated color. The camera is patient, lingering on hallways lined with linens and crosses. Dustin travels between these two spaces, each one a part of what it means to explore one’s inheritance and introspect about how we might prevent ourselves from reproducing its less-desirable components. 

“In terms of cinematographic composition, I took my cues from Douglas Sirk’s 1955 film, All That Heaven Allows, itself a film with a few ‘splitting images’ (namely Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul and Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven). Specifically, I tried to reproduce the same vivid ideas of color and spotlight that the film’s cinematographer, Russell Metty, perfected throughout his career. I consider this a quiet nod to an informal film trilogy about (among other things) family secrets, as well as an exploration of the expressive potential of color in charting our emotional-genealogical terrain.”

Tender Fits comes out on November 12th on Currier’s own Model Love Songs label. Pre-order on the Lightleak BandCamp page here and pre-save on your favorite streaming service here.


VIDEO: Lightleak “Sympathetic Vibration”



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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

One thought on “WATCH: Lightleak’s Sympathy For The Vibration

  • November 9, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    Cool song and video. I like the shots in the vintage house.


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