In Conversation with Cor De Lux

We're so excited to announce the debut album of North Carolina's Cor De Lux and the presale for their debut, "Dream Life!

We're pre-selling 20 exclusive signed editions that are pressed on milky-clear vinyl in the shop. If you purchase one of these through the shop, as a pre-order, we'll send you two album exclusive tracks, and the album will be shipped directly to you from the band during the first week of October 2020.

We've included the video for the album’s lead single, “Replacements,” (below) which was turned into a video (by visual designer/animator, and friend of the band, Stephen Heo). The inspiration behind the imagery grew from the idea of a heady and metaphorical duality: ‘mass media’ and ‘mind control.’

The music for their lead album single, “Replacements,” begins slowly, with storm clouds brewing in the background; the sound of breathy vocals come in over eerily placed-guitar notes, pulsating bass, and a pounding rhythm. The song builds, and then, layers into a frenetic and angular beat, and just as soon as the climax hits, instrumentation becomes sparse underneath occasional cymbal accents ringing out, like edgy warnings, begging the listener to lean in. 

DREAM LIFE was recorded and mixed over late 2019 after multiple sessions in the studio with producer, engineer, and long-time studio friend. It was mastered at Black Belt Mastering, and just prior to completing its production at the pressing plant Gotta Groove Records in Cleveland, Ohio, the band received word that the company had to temporarily halt work due to the beginnings of the pandemic this past March 2020.

Although the band was initially ready to hit the ground running, this was turning into an all-too-familiar story. Fast-forward to July 2020, and the production for their debut has finally been completed and is ready to be released! Cor De Lux’s brand new album, “Dream Life,” will be released on two separate variants: milky-clear, and black vinyl (limited to 200 pressings of each). 


COR DE LUX grew out of the tight-knit music scene of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, in 2018. The band found each other by chance over a mutual conversation about a love of music between its two founding members (guitarist Tim Lusk, and guitarist and vocalist, Dawn Moraga), while Moraga waited for a phone repair (in Tim’s shop). Realizing that they had so much in common (musical tastes, musician friends), this turned out to be the catalyst for their band’s formation. In late 2018, Lusk and Moraga added musicians and friends from the local scene to complete their lineup: Dana Quinn (on drums and vocals), and John Bliven (on bass). “We hit it off during our first practice. It's hard to explain, other than, we didn't want it to end,” says Cor De Lux’s Moraga. Their music, a mixture of post-punk and shoegaze, has earned their sound the tongue-in-cheek nickname referred to by friends and members of the band alike, as, a kind of… ‘Shoe-Gazi,’ (as it resembles a cross between shoegaze and the music of Dischord post-punk band, Fugazi). 


Tim Lusk: Guitar
Dawn Moraga: Guitar/Vocals/Mandolin
Dana Quinn: Drums/Vocals
John Bliven: Bass

Link to the Cor De Lux Spotify playlist here: 

See our conversation with Cor De Lux's Dawn Moraga, below:

Carly: How did you all meet and where did each of you grow up (how is it that you are based in Kill Devil Hills, NC), and what is/was the music scene like in your town?

Dawn of Cor De Lux: We met through Tim's computer repair business while talking about Sunny Day Real Estate when I was getting my phone screen fixed. He recorded some solo work for me, and we hit it off musically, we were just like, 'Hey I think we should run with this.' I told Tim, 'Hey I know a friend who drums in a punk rock band and I know a guitar player that we could talk into playing bass..'. We hit it off in our first practice. It's hard to explain other than, we didn't want it to end. Kill Devil Hills, or rather the Outer Banks, NC is a beautiful barrier island beach town, and the music scene is small, but there are some hidden gems. 

How would you describe your band's current sound (for your recent singles and album) and where do you see it headed in the future? 

I think we are a hodgepodge of sounds: heavy influences of Appleseed Cast, Sonic Youth, Broken Social Scene, Slowdive, and Fugazi make-up our sound... friends have referred to our music as, 'Shoe-Gazi'. Lately, we've felt as though we are growing into a new sound (noticeable in almost every song off this album). The tracks, "Rift" and "Infinite Distance" especially, were a gateway to new growth, for us as a band, on this album.

We wanted to get this album out because we started growing so fast out of our current sound! We really wanted to capture this as a memory of our first creations.  It's funny, some of my favorites tracks (from bands that I love), are always from their first few records. As far as future music we already have a few songs that are moving in a different direction... but right now, we are thinking of the future as being unknown. 

How has being in a band changed for you all (in the pandemic) and how has your band adapted?

It's been tough. At first, we didn't even meet to play. I began running an electric mandolin through a Hungry Robot 'The Wash' pedal and a Synth9... that got me going for a bit. After a few months, we had our first practice and it felt good..almost therapeutic to have that release. To create again.

The record was put on hold, originally. It was in mid-production and actually on the press the day Gotta Groove records shut down. There is history in these moments and times and I believe there will be a lot of upcoming art and music from people releasing all they held in during the pandemic. A local guy John Saturley of Zack Mexico band started a songwriter/collab where many artists were able to create from home and submit their creations online... and that was extremely encouraging in a time where all music seemed to be put on hold.

Your debut full-length, Dream Life, is set to debut this September. What can you tell us about the process of creating the album? 

It was our 'coming-of-age' so-to-speak, the raw aspects of the songwriting process, and the getting to know each other, all of the 'awkward first-date-feeling' moments are really well-documented here. 

What are some of the more unusual elements of Dream Life that you can share with us: any stories or learned lessons that came out of your process? 

I think: just how different each of us is, individually, and that the sound that we created together, surprised us... and that, while we are mostly all amateur musicians, somehow we had a natural sound together.

We recorded ourselves, mixed ourselves....and that was one of my favorite memories...the process of horrible do-overs and vocal attempts that I had to laugh at... all the while watching these attempts turn into our song(s). Recording, for me, was probably my favorite part of this past year. I have my daughter Bella’s laughter in parts of the track "Replacements," and my mother’s voice in another. I feel like, with the headphones on, I was able to hear the instruments form into vocal harmonies and that is one of my favorite things: when a song gives you what it wants. The track "24" did that, big time, and so did the song, "Rift". 

Your album design was put together by Taylor Williams, and you have had some really stunning videos created for a few of your recently revealed tracks with animation from Stephen Heo. What can you tell us about both these designers and what the band was looking for (how they helped to fulfill your ideas)?

We wanted to use a local artist for the album art, and being that she is a pretty amazing realism painter, she was able to put our idea to canvas, perfectly. The 'three feathers' aesthetic was simple and it just felt right for our design. As far as the album design front to back and most of our designs for merch; that was laid out by Tim, our guitarist... Tim used to work with band distribution and design (back in Arizona). The final animation by Stephen Heo was amazing! He sent it to us and the representation of the song "Replacements" was shown through the control of media on our minds... I think it was delivered artistically. Thank you, Stephen. 

What are your favorite songs from your forthcoming album "Dream Life" right now?

Me, personally... I think "24," "Rift," and "Infinite Distance," "Replacements," I don't know, I think it changes with different times....moods. 

You mentioned that the pressing plant where your album was being pressed was closed down in the middle of processing your album (during the start of the pandemic closures). Has it been exciting to see that the album has finally been completed? 

Yes. I feel like we had a poster for a release in May 2020 but you can't force something and I'm guessing there are thousands of bands who were put on hold and who are still on hold. I guess... like the rest of the world, we're taking it day by day. We are happy to have the album out, but damn, it would feel good to have a live show. It feels weird to be so nostalgic about my last show... which was Dinosaur Jr. Man, I really wanted to see Idles... as well as Preoccupations, Black Marble, Weeping Icon, and Moaning... One day. 

What are your thoughts on releasing music during a pandemic without being able to support it with live shows? Has this new creative thought process made you reconsider or rethink what is possible? 

As humans, we will evolve and adapt and survive, and as musicians, we think the exact same way. I think the four of us are more excited about creating new music for ourselves but the pressure to be ready for a show is leaving us a little linear.

What are the band's hopes moving forward? 

Honestly, I think I speak for the four of us when I say that we want to stay 'true to our sound' and awkward and unique in our creative process... and that we hope this evolves naturally. As long as we like the music and stay true to that ... that’s all that matters.

You can purchase the pre-sale of the limited edition signed version of Cor De Lux's brand new album, "Dream Life" on milky-clear vinyl, here:

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