After nearly five years of silence, Pretty Lights has announced his return on Tuesday (April 4).
This morning, the elusive, New Orleans-based producer shared a two-minute video via social media announcing The Soundship Spacesystem Tour. The video also previews his first official new music since 2017’s “Rainbows & Waterfalls.”
The Soundship Spacesystem Tour will hit nine stops: Denver, Lake Dillon, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Chicago, Pelham, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Besides the stop at The Caverns in Pelham, Tenn., Pretty Lights did not yet give any detail as to which venues he would be playing or specific dates. Each stop will feature Pretty Lights playing multiple nights, with 27 shows in the nine cities in total.
Pretty Lights was also announced as one of the headliners of Suwannee Hulaween, the annual three-day music festival happening at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Florida this October 26-29. (This performance, however, was not listed as a stop on the tour.) Capping off a big morning, Pretty Lights was today also named the headliner for a new festival, Cascade Equinox, happening this September in Redmond, Ore. This new show will be produced by the organizers of Arizona’s longtime Gem & Jam fest.
Meanwhile the official Pretty Lights tour will include two new types of performances: Pretty Lights in Dub and The Fantastic Pretty Lights, the latter of which is expected to be a collaboration with longtime friend Michal Menert and The Pretty Fantastics.
The Soundship Spacesystem Tour announcement video features Pretty Lights performing a new, currently unnamed song with lyrics that seem to reflect his return to the scene: “I’ll fly a starship across the universe tonight/ And when I reach the other side/ I’ll find a place to rest my spirit if I can/ Perhaps I may become a pretty light again/ Or I may simply be a single drop of rain/ But I will remain/ And I’ll be back again.” Hear this track below.
Pretty Lights’ absence from the industry over the past five years has been a mysterious one. The producer, born Derek Vincent Smith, had last live appearance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in 2018, where he headlined the venue with his live band over two sold-out nights. Following those shows, Pretty Lights wiped his social media and began an unannounced hiatus, leaving his cult following wondering when he would return.
Throughout the duration of this hiatus, Pretty Lights made brief public appearances. In April 2020, shortly after the protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, Pretty Lights wiped his Instagram account and announced that he would be donating $10,000 to “help support the heroes on the frontlines of this movement.” He also vaguely mentioned how it was time to start participating again.
Several months later, Pretty Lights appeared virtually during a live performance from friends and collaborators Break Science. On a screen behind the band, he remotely jammed with them for two of his songs, “Shining Bright Despite The Plight” and “High School Art Class.” Two years later, this past February, Pretty Lights appeared in a promotional video for Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, a small Denver venue that was celebrating its 20th anniversary.
See Pretty Lights’ announcement below.