[Cover photo credit to Leah Woodruff and Nina Wright]
Santa Fe, New Mexico outfit Lightning Cult have announced their upcoming full-length debut LP, The Whole Pulse. The studio project, made up of Mike Marchant and Luke Bern Carr, will release The Whole Pulse digitally via Cloud Command on June 10, 2022.
With The Whole Pulse, Marchant and Carr make the most of the full-length format, presenting a “conceptual exploration of death and impermanence” over the course of 12 musically and thematically linked tracks.
I’m interested in exploring the reverberations that arrive after someone or something significant is gone, and the ways we interact with those reverberations. The idea that someday I’ll die and become the effects of my actions while I was here—that’s inspiring to me. I’m telling a story about waking up to that and learning to see death through a warm lens.
Mike Marchant and Luke Bern Carr are both self-taught DIY artists who focus on self-sufficiency. Marchant founded the recording studio and record label Cloud Command, and Carr founded the multimedia production company Bernlore, working with artists such as Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear, Speedy Ortiz, A Hawk And A Hacksaw, and more.
With Marchant handling lead vocals, guitars, synthesizers, drum machines, electronics, keyboards, and lap steel while Carr holds it down on backing vocals, drums, bass guitars, guitars, string arrangements, and sound design, The Whole Pulse builds a modern DIY ‘wall of sound’ production style.
The single “On Again” was just released alongside a video that was written by Marchant and directed by Carr.
Lightning Cult explains:
In the video, a man finds an envelope in his mailbox. It looks like one of those old AOL CD-Rom mailers (“90 FREE HOURS!”), but it says “Afterlife Online”. He puts it into his computer and begins receiving messages from a deceased friend, first through the computer and then through objects in his house. A painting comes to life, musical instruments play themselves, and she sends a series of messages basically telling him to get off his ass and do good things while he can. It’s very much tied into the concept of the album, but it’s blown up a bit to suit the format.