Sub Lights Tracks Transformational Moments On “Strange New Breed”

[Cover photo credit to ONEiPhotography]

New York City-based duo Sub Lights, made up of members Meredith and Stephen Duncan, have shared the news that their sophomore EP Half-Life will be released on October 28, 2022. The first single from their upcoming EP, “Strange New Breed” along with a visual companion, has also been released.

Meredith Duncan writes about the new single:

‘”Strange New Breed’ started out being a summer song about those transformational moments when you’re young, where you experience something so unfamiliar yet captivating and you want to hold onto that feeling long after the moment’s over. Once you know what’s out there it makes your current life look 2D and dull or at least incomplete. Half-life is a key line in the chorus—it’s a physics term to describe exponential decay.

For me, that’s what being raised in a socially-sanctioned religious cult felt like— Everything that makes you, you is slowly worn away. I was lucky enough to deprogram myself before being sucked in forever, and it was like slowly waking up into a world of dimension and color that never ceases to blow my mind. We didn’t want the video to be literally about summer fun and partying using the typical beach imagery, so I tried to create this ‘What Lies Beneath Everything’ feeling.

Atoms and energy are behind everything we experience and it just seemed like a cool way to put a spin (get it, electron spin?) on the summer song. At heart, I am a science nerd and I just decided not to fight it. There’s also a bit of a commentary on mystical thinking vs enlightenment which again goes back to my early experiences. The video reflects all of this in a simple way: for example, I am the one that was born into superstition, the ‘visitor’ taught me how to see.”

Stephen Duncan comments on the video:

The production onStrange New Breed’ was extensive: I thought it was a great pop song and we wanted to be sure to get it right so we tried multiple versions before Meredith was able to conceptualize the kind of psychedelic beach theme we ended up with. We built up from the drums, trying to always capture some sense of rolling waves, ocean birds, the bonfire party end-of-summer vibe, adding distorted backing vocals, guitars, and synths to compliment Meredith’s sweet-but-tough delivery.

Sub Lights is a new start for Meredith and Stephen Duncan. The duo’s previous project from the 2010s, The Chemistry Set, had a lineup that included members of Polyphonic Spree and Calhoun, with songs mixed by McKenzie Smith (St. Vincent, Midlake), but the challenge of making music as a duo has inspired them to put together a small studio in their new home in New York City, an effort that went into overdrive during the 2020 lockdowns. Their upcoming Half-Life EP marks the duo’s second release, following last year’s Medicine EP and a pair of debut shows in Manhattan.

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