PRETTY LIGHTS’ NEW ALBUM A COLOR MAP OF THE SUN IS OUT NOW
July 15, 2013
A Color Map of the Sun – the new studio album from Pretty Lights – is out now. Pretty Lights – the musical project of the electro soul hip-hop pioneer Derek Vincent Smith – will make its national television debut on “Conan” on Wednesday, July 17, performing with special guest Talib Kweli. KCRW will air Pretty Lights’ “Morning Becomes Eclectic” session today. For details, visit http://www.kcrw.com/music/programs/mb.
Rolling Stone praised A Color Map of the Sun as the “star’s uniquely crafted, groove-centric head trip” while Entertainment Weekly put the album on “The Must List,” hailing it as “a warm, funky riff on 21st-century cyber-soul.” VIBE called it a “masterpiece,” noting: “The electronic/soul/hip-hop pioneer, whose use of digital sampling and synthesis destroyed genre barriers before everyone was doing it, pushes the envelope of electronic music and challenges the dance music mainstream.” “Like Daft Punk, Pretty Lights’ Derek Vincent Smith delves into analog electronica, but in a different way. Having created sampling sources by recording breaks with live musicians, he chops and reassembles them in ways that recall acid jazz, blues and vintage soul,” observed USA Today.
A Color Map of the Sun is the first Pretty Lights album to be released physically and digitally simultaneously. As always, the album will be available in its entirety for download at no cost via www.prettylightsmusic.com. Since its conception in 2006, Pretty Lights has distributed more than 18 million album downloads at no cost to the fans. The new album will also be available as a double-disc CD, on vinyl and via iTunes, Beatport, Amazon and all other digital outlets.
Pretty Lights will launch a fall North American headline tour on October 10. The itinerary below is just the beginning – locations for six “surprise performances” will be revealed shortly as well as the venue for a three-night stand in Chicago, IL.
An online presale will begin Tuesday, July 9, at 10 a.m. local time. Tickets will go on sale to the public on Saturday, July 13, at 10 a.m. local time. For more details, visit prettylightsmusic.com.
Pretty Lights’ summer tour launched with a series of festival performances, including Bonnaroo, which SPIN put on its daily list of “The 10 Best Things We Saw.” A pair of hometown shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO (August 16 and 17) will mark Pretty Lights’ fourth year in a row selling out the legendary venue.
The new album’s lead single “Around the Block,” which features Talib Kweli, recently topped USA Today’s Playlist. “The densely layered single combines elements of hip-hop, soul, dubstep, New Orleans jazz and 1990s big beat into a simmering, party-ready bouillabaisse,” said NPR Music, which put the track on its list of “10 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing.”
To produce A Color Map of the Sun, Smith spent a year composing and recording music and vocals that emulated genres and time periods that spanned the last century, then pressed it to vinyl (over 50 full LPs). He used that vinyl along with a massive custom built analog modular synth to create A Color Map of the Sun. The second disc of the double-CD set, entitled Live Studio Sessions From A Color Map of the Sun, contains 13 tracks of his favorite recordings, pulled straight off the one of a kind pieces of vinyl.
Additional guests on the new album include Eric Krasno (Soulive), members of the Harlem Gospel Choir, Ben Jaffe (Preservation Hall Jazz Band) and the late “Uncle” Lionel Batiste (Treme Brass Band). Break-beat extraordinaire, Adam Deitch, played drums throughout.
Pretty Lights Music Creative Director, Krystle Blackburn, filmed the creation of this album over 2+ years. With the help of VICE and Thump the footage turned into a 26 minute documentary showing the very literally “never been done before” approach to how this album was made. The documentary can be seen at http://youtu.be/C402fprLRDw.
“The result is electro with real soul, a genre-hopping mix of Smith’s influences,” said Billboard. “[Live Studio Sessions From A Color Map of the Sun provides] an inside look at the method behind Smith’s sampledelic madness.”
Pretty Lights – Upcoming Tour Dates
7/3 – Boston, MA @ Ocean Club
7/6 – Calgary, AB @ Badlands: Stampede Music Festival
7/20 – Thornville, OH @ All Good Music Festival
8/3 – Toronto, ON @ VELD Music Festival
8/4 – Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Festival
8/9 – San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands 2013
8/10 – Squamish, BC @ Squamish Festival
8/16 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
8/17 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
10/4-5 – New York, NY @ Rock the Bells
*10/10 – Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theatre
*10/11 – St. Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena
*10/12 – Nashville, TN @ Greer Stadium
*10/13 – SURPRISE PERFORMANCE
*10/16 – Auburn, AL @ Outdoor Arena
*10/18 – SURPRISE PERFORMANCE
*10/19 – SURPRISE PERFORMANCE
*10/22 – Columbia, SC @ Township Auditorium
*10/23 – SURPRISE PERFORMANCE
*10/24 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
*10/25 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
10/26 – Las Vegas, NV @ Life is Beautiful Festival
10/27 – Asheville, NC @ Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit
*10/29 – SURPRISE PERFORMANCE
*10/30 – Amherst, MA @ Mullins Center
*10/31 – Albany, NY @ Times Union Arena
*11/1 – Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
*11/2 – Wallingford, CT @ Oakdale Theatre
*11/3 – SURPRISE PERFORMANCE
*11/7 – Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple
*11/8 – Chicago, IL @ To Be Announced
*11/9 – Chicago, IL @ To Be Announced
*11/10 – Chicago, IL @ To Be Announced
*11/13 – Louisville, KY @ Palace Theatre
*11/14 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
**11/15 – Lincoln, NE @ Pershing Center
*11/16 – St. Paul, MN @ Myth
*11/17 – Fargo, ND @ Concert Hall at The Venue
*11/20 – Missoula, MT @ Adams Center
*11/21 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
*11/22 – Seattle, WA @ Showare Center
*11/23 – Portland, OR @ Memorial Coliseum
*11/27 – Reno, NV @ Summit Pavilion
* Ticket pre-sale begins July 9 at prettylightsmusic.com.
** Ticket pre-sale begins August 19 at prettylightsmusic.com; public on-sale begins August 23.