Blurring the lines between moody, downtempo, instrumental reel breaks and upbeat, densely layered electro material, Pretty Lights is an uncontested, cutting-edge sound pioneer for the modern day electronic music fan. Inspired by crate digging, bass heavy club beats, hip hop, rap and mixtape styles, Derek Vincent Smith's music relies heavily on digital sampling and the thoughtful merging of a multitude of genres, resulting in a cohesive and extensive catalogue of glitchy hip hop beats, buzzing synth lines, and vintage funk and soul melodies. Since the project's conception in 2004, Smith has stayed true to the sound that’s made Pretty Lights one of today’s most iconic electronic music staples, while always challenging himself to reach new stylistic and technical realms.
Three years since the release of his highly prolific, Grammy-nominated album, A Color Map of the Sun, the beloved electro-soul tastemaker has skyrocketed his innovative solo project into a new musical era with the release of his new song, "Only Yesterday," coupled with a beautifully evocative music video shot during his two-day camping festival in Telluride, Colorado. Before releasing "Only Yesterday," Smith took to his Facebook to ensure fans that "different is coming." As cryptic as this message may be, Pretty Lights' newest track definitely delivers something different: a more gentle but very welcomed side to Pretty Lights' sound that hones in on a more subdued, feel good energy that may offer fans a glimmer of Smith's forthcoming musical direction. In regards to the song itself, Smith explained, "'Only Yesterday' is a track trying to express something very honest about how it can feel like an ongoing struggle to truly be yourself. The video is a piece of cinematic nostalgia, and an effort to collectively acknowledge how important it can be for an individual to find meaningful connection with their FRIENDS.” This message was conveyed magnificently through the organic blending of ample, soulful sample-work, chopped instrumentals and hints of sophisticated, luscious synthetic materials, infusing listeners with positive vibes and a sense of delicate euphoria. The sentimental personality of the track is magnified further with the aid of its music video, directed by Ryan Berena, which takes fans back to the inaugural year of Pretty Lights' unreal mountainside Telluride festival through heartwarming shots of Smith's loyal legion of fans, the "Pretty Lights Family," accompanied by clips of the festival's performances with Pretty Lights and his live band.