Relentless Beats

Pretty Lights, A Color Map of the Sun PLUS Tour Dates

A Color Map of the Sun – the new studio album from Pretty Lights – is out today. Pretty Lights is the musical project of the electro soul hip-hop pioneer Derek Vincent Smith. Pretty Lights will make his national television debut on Conan on Wednesday, July 17, performing with special guest Talib Kweli.

Rolling Stone praised A Color Map of the Sun as the “star’s uniquely crafted, groove-centric head trip” while Entertainment Weekly put the album on “The Must List,” hailing it as “a warm, funky riff on 21st-century cyber-soul.” VIBE called it a “masterpiece,” noting, “The electronic/soul/hip-hop pioneer, whose use of digital sampling and synthesis destroyed genre barriers before everyone was doing it, pushes the envelope of electronic music and challenges the dance music mainstream.”

A Color Map of the Sun is the first Pretty Lights album to be released physically and digitally simultaneously. As always, the album will be available in its entirety for download at no cost HERE. Since its conception in 2006, Pretty Lights has distributed more than 18 million album downloads at no cost to the fans.

Pretty Lights on Tour

Pretty Lights will launch a North American tour on October 10. The itinerary below is just the beginning – locations for six “surprise” performances will be revealed shortly.

Speaking of Talib Kweli, the lead single “Around the Block,” featuring Talib Kweli, recently topped USA Today’s Playlist. “The densely layered single combines elements of hip-hop, soul, dubstep, New Orleans jazz and 1990s big beat into a simmering, party-ready bouillabaisse,” said NPR Music.

Pretty Lights feat. Talib Kweli – Around The Block (Official Music Video)

To produce A Color Map of the Sun, Smith spent a year composing and recording music and vocals that emulated genres and time periods that spanned the last century, then pressed it to vinyl. He used that vinyl along with a massive custom built analog modular synth to create A Color Map of the Sun. The second disc of the double-CD set, entitled Live Studio Sessions From A Color Map of the Sun, contains 13 tracks of his favorite recordings, pulled straight off the one of a kind pieces of vinyl.

The Making Of “A Color Map of the Sun” Documentary Trailer

Additional guests on the new album include Eric Krasno (Soulive), members of the Harlem Gospel Choir, Ben Jaffe (Preservation Hall Jazz Band) and the late “Uncle” Lionel Batiste (Treme Brass Band). Break-beat extraordinaire, Adam Deitch, played drums throughout.

Pretty Lights Music Creative Director, Krystle Blackburn, filmed the creation of this album over 2+ years. With the help of VICE and Thump, the footage turned into a detailed documentary showing the very literally “never been done before” approach to how this album was made.

The Making of A Color Map of the Sun

“The result is electro with real soul, a genre-hopping mix of Smith’s influences,” said Billboard.

Pretty Lights  upcoming tour dates include:

7/3 – Boston, MA at Ocean Club
7/6 – Calgary, AB at Badlands: Stampede Music Festival
7/20 – Thornville, OH at All Good Music Festival
8/3 – Toronto, ON at VELD Music Festival
8/4 – Montreal, QC at Osheaga Festival
8/9 – San Francisco, CA at Outside Lands 2013
8/10 – Squamish, BC at Squamish Festival
8/16 – Morrison, CO at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
8/17 – Morrison, CO at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
10/4-5 – New York, NY at Rock the Bells
10/10 – Kansas City, MO at Midland Theatre
10/11 – St. Louis, MO at Chaifetz Arena
10/12 – Nashville, TN at Greer Stadium
10/16 – Auburn, AL at Outdoor Arena
10/22 – Columbia, SC at Township Auditorium
10/24 – Atlanta, GA at The Tabernacle
10/25 – Atlanta, GA at The Tabernacle
10/26 – Las Vegas, NV at Life is Beautiful Festival
10/27 – Asheville, NC at Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit
10/30 – Amherst, MA at Mullins Center
10/31 – Albany, NY at Times Union Arena
11/1 – Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
11/2 – Wallingford, CT @ Oakdale Theatre
11/7 – Detroit, MI at Masonic Temple
11/8 – Chicago, IL at To Be Announced
11/9 – Chicago, IL at To Be Announced
11/10 – Chicago, IL at To Be Announced
11/13 – Louisville, KY at Palace Theatre
11/14 – Milwaukee, WI at Eagles Ballroom
11/15 – Lincoln, NE at Pershing Center
11/16 – St. Paul, MN at Myth
11/17 – Fargo, ND at Concert Hall at The Venue
11/20 – Missoula, MT at Adams Center
11/21 – Spokane, WA at Knitting Factory
11/22 – Seattle, WA at Showare Center
11/23 – Portland, OR at Memorial Coliseum
11/27 – Reno, NV at Summit Pavilion

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