Posts Tagged ‘Sons Of An Illustrious Father’

Slothrust and Sons of an Illustrious Father have teamed up to cover each other’s songs, and they’ll be donating the proceeds of the project to the Trevor Project. Have a listen to Slothrust’s cover of “U.S. Gay” and the Sons’ cover of “Horseshoe Crab,” and read thoughts on the project from both bands,

I wrote “Horseshoe Crab” at a time when I was struggling with dissociative depressive episodes while living in Brooklyn. The song itself is a reflection of the duality that exists inside of all of us, and the maladaptive complexities that come with being human. In short, it’s an exploration of feeling disconnected from your true self.

This experience is one familiar to many gay people, especially those who struggle with mental health issues. I have spent a lot of time hiding my mind and my body from the world, and even from myself. For many of us, it takes a lot of work to be at ease in a world where we do not fulfill the expectations society has educated us to believe are desirable. It wasn’t easy to gain the confidence to do this internal work, but I am happy to say it has been worth it.

Part of that work, is noticing and surrounding yourself with the type of people who make you feel seen and who encourage you to be yourself. Sons of An Illustrious Father have embodied this love since the moment we met at our first show together in Boise. Each member is so unique and their show is no less individual. There is a raw creativity and earnestness about their show that evokes a timeless performance experience. The three of them are not afraid to be weird, loud, theatrical, or vulnerable and these qualities inspire me to take more risks in my own work.

While the Slothrust version of this song feels like it holds a lot of fire and frustration, the Sons version swims in cool and unfamiliar water. It is almost as if they are the seahorse and we are the horseshoe crab. One is soft and rarely seen, swimming freely in the ocean, leaving gender norms to surface dwellers. The other washes ashore on many coasts, its thick brown leathery shell hiding the surprisingly opaque blue blood within.

Knowing that the lyrics of this song were inspired by feelings of alienation and solitude, it’s a beautiful choice that Josh, Lilah, and Ezra all sing this song together as opposed to one of them taking the lead. As the songwriter in our band, it can feeling isolating and exposing at times to come in with songs like this one. Having three totally unique voices reinterpret it brings about the feeling of unity and sameness that I hoped to convey in the lyric “I don’t have anything in common with myself, except that I came from the sea like everyone else did.” It is as though three people are having parallel experiences at the same time, and it’s a humbling moment to have the song become a source of healing reflected back at me.

Leah Wellbaum, Slothrust


Listening to Slothrust’s cover of “U.S. Gay” makes me feel sick, the way that falling in love does that dull, heavy stomachache. I feel so overwhelmed with love and gratitude for Leah, Will, and Kyle for showing me what this song that I started could become. In writing “U.S. Gay” I attempted perhaps for the first time to write something genuinely pop-y.

The Pulse night club shooting filled me, like many others, with abject horror and grief; it felt to me that in order to make anything from that experience that might help myself and others process, it had to be somehow palatably packaged ,we needed some sort of spoon full of sugar to be able to even attempt to get it all down. For the most part, I think we succeeded in creating something that is fun to listen to despite its decidedly un-fun content. But as a band, we’ve always been fairly helpless vehicles in our expression, melding the message as best we can while largely flailing in surrender. This, I think, is part of our charm and I wouldn’t change it, but it means that our “pop” song is still a bit ragged and off-kilter. Leah, on the other hand, is a veritable pop fucking genius fronting the greatest rock band alive, so hearing the Slothrust version of “U.S. Gay” is like hearing the song in its ultimate form. I truly feel like our version was a first draft. This is the smooth, skillful rendering of my dreams. A spoon full of sugar dripped right in your ear, the even more devastating weight that Slothrust lends even more appealingly applied.

The song was never meant to be the proprietary property of any band — it was our offering to the community in a time of tragedy. For it to be sung by another queer person makes me feel like it’s being further absorbed into that broader community, where it was always meant to live. It’s made me realize that I yearn to hear the song sung by so many more people. But I’m fairly certain that no one will ever outdo the Slothrust version.

Lilah Larson, Sons of an Illustrious Father

You can buy the tracks digitally vinyl 7-inch will be released on August 9th.

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Sons of An Illustrious Father are a trio comprised of Josh Aubin, Lilah Larson, and the acclaimed actor Ezra Miller. They self-released their last album, “Deus Sex Machina: Or, Moving Slowly Beyond Nikola Tesla”, back in June 2018. Now they have shared a new song, simply titled “Sons of An Illustrious Father.” It features string arrangements from Murray A. Lightburn, frontman of Montréal’s The Dears.

Ezra Miller played Barry Allen (aka The Flash) in 2017’s Justice League movie (as well as more briefly in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad). Miller also starred in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, We Need to Talk About Kevin, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. But Sons of An Illustrious Father is no casual side-project for Miller, he’s known Lilah Larson since high school and the band has been active for several years.

A previous press release described the band as such: “Sons of An Illustrious Father were born from an inherent need to represent Otherness within personal identity, continuing the astounding lineage of punk rock icons before them who pushed the boundaries of popular culture via explorations of gender definition and sexual fluidity.

Band Members
JOSH AUBIN ~ vocals, bass, keyboards, guitars, percussion
LILAH LARSON ~ vocals, guitars, bass, drums, percussion
EZRA MILLER ~ vocals, drums, percussion, keyboards

Experiencing the music of Sons Of An Illustrious Father is like being invited into a trusted triangle of creativity, emotion, spiritual, personal and interpersonal growth. songwriters/singers/instrumentalists merge selflessly into one artistic continuum. In February, the New York-based trio releases its most boldly vulnerable and artistically distinct body of work yet; its third album, Revol (Big Picnic Records).

The band consist of Ezra Miller, vocals, drums, percussion, and keyboards.” Josh Aubin, vocals, bass, keyboards, and percussion adds: “These songs are rooted in an honest emotional space. They’re about the relationships we have outside and inside the band.” Lilah Larson, vocals, guitars, drums, percussion, and bass, chimes in: “We can bring songs to each other and never have to explain the context. We’ve been together so long that a lot is unspoken it’s a sibling, lover, family thing—it’s the most serious and longest relationship I’ve been in.”

When pressed, the three playfully refer to its music as “future folk” or “heavy meadow.” The trio’s free spirited creativity has garnered comparisons to such diverse artists as The Band, Tom Waits, and Nirvana. Sons take a collaborative approach to songwriting, signing separate songs, and creating three-part harmonies.

The title of the band’s latest album, Revol,“The title refers to a number of words, one being ‘revolt,’ and it speaks to the album’s concepts of love, global struggle, and interpersonal revolt against binary oppression,” Lilah explains.


Revol was recorded in Montreal at Hotel2Tango (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade) by Howard Bilerman who also mixed the album.


It’s been over four years since the last full-length record from Sons Of An Illustrious Father. Since then the group have put out a handful of songs to tide us over. “Loveletting,” off the Sons EP that came out a little over a year ago is a great tune, and a good indicator of what was to come.

The transition to a three-piece seems to have occurred rather easily for Sons. They share singing responsibilities equally, which allows everyone to shine in their own way. The biggest shocker on Revol is how big they sound this time around. If you’ve been listening to them since their first record from 2009, you won’t find much of that band here. Guitars are turned up, the drums are splattered all over, and the vocals are clean and up front. It’s a totally different sound, but it does retain the honesty and passion we’ve come to love from them.

Josh Aubin seems to receive the biggest benefit here. Ezra Miller has his fanbase and Lilah Larson has blown us away time and again. But on Revol, Aubin gets a lot of mileage out of his keyboard and his voice is featured plenty. His voice doesn’t invoke the kind of pain and yearning that Larson and Miller articulate so well, but he gets his message across without having to be fancy about it.

On “Post-Future,” which was released as a single last week, Aubin sings about the disconnection in humanity caused by technology. “You can find reason wherever you want it to be, but is finding an answer gonna set you free?”

“Opposite Of Love” is a pretty traditional blues number that allows Lilah the opportunity to showcase her powerhouse voice a little bit. She has a little more Fiona Apple in her voice than I ever noticed before, and some of the raw ferocity gives way to a new confidence and polish. “There is no opposite of love” she sings over and over, her words getting louder and louder before she lets loose with a wail that will send shivers down your spine.

I hope Revol is the album that pushes Sons to the next level, if for no other selfish reason The new album, Revol, available worldwide on March 4th 2016