Rafiq Bhatia, Ian Chang, and Ryan Lott—who make up the trio Son Lux—are known for blending acoustic and electronic techniques to create "unique textures and dynamic arrangements that sound like no one else" (NPR). As they prepare for their intimate American Songbook set in The Appel Room on Thursday, February 28, they share a few of their current favorites and why they love them.


"The Alien" (from the movie Annihilation) by Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow

The part of the movie that features this music made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. The way that the brutal synths juxtapose with saintly choral sounds is the perfect accompaniment to the eerily beautiful world that the characters find themselves in.—Ian Chang


"Trois danse de travers: I. En y regardant à deux fois" by Erik Satie, performed by Richard P. John

The subtly prepared hammers and detailed capture of the piano's intricate mechanisms are a perfect choice for this collection of works. This particular piece has an intoxicating, tendril-y melody that's always shifting in curious ways. The writing and the performance are so understated, though. We're out of balance, but contentedly so.—Ryan Lott


"Resolution" by John Coltrane

Coltrane's intense focus and clarity in the face of Elvin Jones's roiling drumming feels like standing steady in the middle of a hurricane. This ebbing tension makes the moments where everything aligns feel eerily clairvoyant.—Rafiq Bhatia


"Quorum" by Low

I feel so much struggle and seething tension in this track. It's almost like the song is trying to push itself through an elastic but impenetrable barrier.—Ian Chang


"Blossom" by mmph

For some reason, this track strongly conjures the image of those plastic, glass-encased, light-up flower arrangements. It goes the distance, pummeling you with glistening, synthetic waves, demanding that you feel something.—Rafiq Bhatia


"NANA (Cap.9: Concepción)" by ROSALÌA

This song feels like a prayer to me. The harmonic resolution that happens at the end kills me every time.—Ian Chang


"Suzanne" by Nina Simone

Nina Simone recorded two versions of this Leonard Cohen classic, and they're both magic. I listened to one or both of them every morning for several weeks straight recently. Untouchable greatness.—Ryan Lott


"Light Blue" by Thelonious Monk

One of the earliest examples of boom-bap I've ever heard happens to also be among the most infectious. The "making of" version of this track shows how clear Monk's vision was of this kind of rhythmic feeling (in spite of drummer Art Taylor's confusion), and how something so pervasive in modern music seemed so nonsensical at the time.—Rafiq Bhatia


"FUN!" by Vince Staples

I was listening to this song in the car when my son, who wasn't yet two at the time, declared from the backseat, "I like this song!" This was the first time he had ever verbally expressed his appreciation for a song, so this will always be a special one.—Ryan Lott


Listen to the full playlist.