REUBEN AND THE DARK ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM IN LIEU OF LIGHT OUT SEPTEMBER 9
Reuben and the Dark has long nurtured a bond with its audience that transcends the power of human communion with music as the chosen vehicle. Today, the spirited folk-rock outfit announces its fourth album, In Lieu of Light, a collection of songs as bare and unguarded as any frontman Reuben Bullock has offered before. A self-portrait of the Joshua Tree-bound skateboarding singer-songwriter, the album’s first single “Wanderer” ponders questions of love and the gift of loneliness, with the electric din of guitars and rollicking drums as the getaway vehicle. Accompanied by a music video that peers into the desert backdrop of the recording of In Lieu of Light, “Wanderer” is a melancholy anthem for the height, and the fall, of summer.
“Wanderer is a reflection on loneliness. I like the duality of it,” says Reuben. “Seems to be something we all worry about a lot lately… being alone… But also it’s a state that has always been a platform for growth for me. This was a quiet piano tune at first. I left the house during a recording session and returned to Brock Geiger completely transforming it. I never thought this song could be uptempo! But I love how it sounds now.”
Recalling the spontaneity of the band’s resounding 2013 arrival Funeral Sky, the eleven songs of In Lieu of Light are both humble and vast, flourishing from the simplicity of gentle piano and guitar – at times favouring the delicate frame of its intimacy, at others conceding to the anthems in its melodies. It is honest heart-based music, wide open yet lonesome, and begging connection.
“This album had no expectations put on it, it felt very free of form in any creative way. It is a snapshot of songs I was writing at a particular time, when recording them felt like a necessary letting go,” recounts Reuben. “There was a magic to that experimentation that felt natural to me.”
In Lieu of Light was recorded throughout 2021 when at times for many the world seemed at an excruciating standstill. Reuben’s pensive lyrics, always known for their environmental resonance, turn more inward here. There is an element of personal, deeply relatable soul-searching at play, a perseverance through darkness, grief, escapism, and a subtle celebration of this despair that we have all confronted.
From the hymnal meditation of “Read Your Mind” to the wayfinding reflections of “Traveler of Swords”, In Lieu of Light is at once Reuben and the Dark’s most varied yet most unified album to date. Bullock’s commitment to a more relaxed mode of songwriting removed one of the few remaining barriers between the band and its inextricably devoted audience. The cumulative, exultant power of his songs, be it shared joy or shared sadness, elevates the experience of In Lieu of Light to a heightened level.
Recorded by Graham Lessard in Calgary at OCL Studios, Brock Geiger at Reuben’s home studio in Joshua Tree, and Joel Shearer in Los Angeles, In Lieu of Light finds Reuben in harmony with the studio as his instrument, and the band with its intuition and embellishments.
In addition to songs from the recently released Coming Like A Storm EP, In Lieu of Light includes collaboration with the Kainai-Bloodtribe Bullhorn Singers, who have been sharing the stage with Reuben and the Dark on recent performances. See the band’s upcoming dates below.
Reuben And The Dark
In Lieu Of Light
(Arts & Crafts)
Release Date: September 9, 2022
Pre-Order In Lieu Of Light HERE
Jul 31 – Canmore, AB – Canmore Folk Festival %
Sep 10 – Jasper, AB – Jasper Folk Festival %
% with the Bullhorn Singers