Should we open up a window, yeah?” Devonté Hynes asks, giggling. Known to music fans by his stagename, Lightspeed Champion, the 24-year-old Brooklyn-based Brit aims a loaded spray-paint can squarely at a pair of cutoff jeans. Once part of the short-lived dance-punk trio Test Icicles,Hynes went solo in 2006. (He said of the split, “We were never, ever that keen on the music.”) Since his 2008 debut as Lightspeed, a high-concept baroque pop album titled Falling off the Lavender Bridge (a project he is rather keen on), Hynes has collaborated with the Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx, Florence + The Machine, the British Film Institute and even an X-Factor finalist.
This month’s Life is Sweet! Nice To Meet You is a 15-track rock opus filled with complex orchestral arrangements. It’s an ambitious, sweeping album, as engrossing as it is bittersweet. That’s all well and good, but Hynes is already on to the next thing. “I just recorded a demo for another song in my bathroom last night until my friends made me leave the apartment to go out,” Hynes says, laughing. “I just can’t seem to get away from making music. I suppose there are worse problems to have.”
Life is Sweet! Nice To Meet You is out now on Domino.
Photography by Alexander Wagner. Kayla Michelle.