Flowy, intimate electro-pop
OTW #496: Black Light Dinner Party

With their flowy, intimate electro-pop, it’s hard to imagine any of Black Light Dinner Party prank-calling a porn star.

However, after getting Ron Jeremy’s number from a friend, that’s exactly what bassist Dan Stevens did.

“No-one would believe me, so we called him up,” he says proudly. “He was a really pleasant guy. You could talk to him for five or 10 minutes without him having any concept of who you were.”

The fact that the band later convinced Jeremy to appear as a limo driver in the video to ‘Gold Chain’ is only a small part of their intriguing backstory. Beginning as friends working on separate projects and bouncing ideas off each other, they originally made electronic, Flying Lotus-inspired tracks.

But when lead-singer Jack Côté’s mum became ill and passed away, their focus shifted towards a poppier sound. The result was ‘Older Together’, a melancholic electro-indie gem that kick-started a wave of attention-grabbing releases in 2011.

In the circumstances, though, the band maintained an anonymity. “I guess it felt a little bit sombre and a little unnatural to have complete transparency at that point,” explains drummer Zach Lipkins.

In contrast, listening to their debut album, ‘Sons and Lovers’ (named after the DH Lawrence novel, in reference to their “interesting journey”), feels like stumbling across a particularly candid diary entry. Influenced by personal struggles and love and relationships, the record is a bittersweet synth-driven voyage.

Fitting the band’s favourite description of their sound as “dance music for people who want to do more than dance”, the swelling yet tender title-track represents, in Zach’s opinion, “What we’ve become and where we’re headed – moving forward more than anything.”

Despite infectious hooks, striking videos – ‘We Are Golden’ includes pirates, Tetris shapes and floating narwhals – and energetic live shows supporting Icona Pop, mainstream success isn’t the band’s main priority. Dan points out: “You just want to make something that sounds good to yourself and the others around you and hope that it translates over.”

Where: New York City
What: Glistening, emotive electro-pop lullabies
Get 3 songs: ‘Older Together’, ‘We Are Golden’, ‘Sons and Lovers’
Unique Fact: Their best reception to a live show was at a girls’ college in Pennsylvania. They felt like a boyband afterwards.

Find Black Light Dinner Party online here.

Words: James Evans

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