“Build” – Lotus Album Review
Produced and Written by Jesse and Luke Miller
Review Written by Matthew McGuire
Lotus “Build” Review
SCI Fidelity — The title “Build” reflects a descriptive element about the style of music that Lotus consistently produces on and offstage. There has been a steady building of growth in the quality of production that the band has been apart of recently. Crowds nationwide are continuing to buzz about the progressiveness that surrounds the group. Lotus has built a strong fan base over the past five years, and they continue to push new boundaries and audio landscapes with this album. In comparison to their last two albums; “Build” delivers a record that creates the energy of a large venue performance in the intimacy of the studio. Listeners are able to dive into their recording session and preview a glance of what a Lotus live performance can entail.
Luke Miller from Lotus discusses the vibe of “Build”. Luke and Jesse Miller produced the album on the SCI Fidelity record label. It marks the band’s tenth album together, and the ten track package is available at: Bandcamp Link
“This album was recorded live to analog tape in studios in Philadelphia and St. Louis. We used live drums, guitar, bass, Hammond organ, upright piano, analog synths, live percussion, and live horns from the group Rubblebucket, then peppered in electronic elements. The project was mixed through an analog process to give it a deep richness. These songs were written over the course of the past 2 years and road-tested across the country. I think this our tightest and best sounding album yet. The songs have a largeness that match Lotus move from clubs into premier venues around the country,” Miller said.
‘Break Build Burn’ is the opening song that lays out a contrastive piano with their post-rock edge in their rhythm section. Alex Toth and Kalmia Traver of Rubblebucket add horns to the introductory track to the album. The song has parallels that play into the title of the track and the title of the album. I remember interviewing the Miller brothers in 2012 when they were working on this album. This was almost a year ago, and they continued progress on the album for month following. They layered tracks, remastered them in the studio, and eventually built an audio structured masterpiece.
Lotus engages listeners and fans in a variety of formats. Before the release of this album I read a fan talking about which songs from “Build” that they had heard live in concert. This displays that fans are picking up and sharing new songs faster and faster in the live performance setting. It also shows that Lotus fans are listening in for new music with awaited ears. A piece to some of the best art movements depended on the audiences that supported them over time. The Lotus crowds are diverse, intelligent and willing to support a band that produces music out of love. That can be seen in other crowds, but it is a growing trend in audiences at Lotus shows nationwide.
‘Uffi’ breaks out the horns for a special mix of electronic gold on the forth track of the album. After hearing a few of these tracks with the added layers of horns, I would like to see a tour with Rubblebucket and Lotus setup in the near future to get this raw energy live on a stage. Luke Miller uses some of these spirited rhythms in his side project Luke the Knife. He will be touring with Future Rock at the end of April. It should be a good tour aside from gearing up for another large summer tour.
The album ends with a two punch combo titled ‘Neon Tubes Part 1’ & ‘Neon Tubes Part 2’. The highlight of the record for me was building up my anticipation for these last two tracks, as I would be excited to experience an encore during a live performance. Neon Tubes Part 1 & 2 reminds listeners that Lotus is a metaphorical machine pumping on all cylinders.