Poltergeists: Week of December 21, 2015

Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes share tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks.


VOWWS - “It’s You”

Recently featured guests VOWWS have a debut album out and it is great! I had the pleasure of catching them last week in Portland at the Ash Street Saloon. Not only were they really awesome people, but their live show was engaging and fun to watch. The dynamic they have on stage is as unique as their sound, which is hard to capture with recording. “It’s You” is one of the slower tracks on the album, but I love it because it plays on all of their unique qualities - there is a catchy guitar riff folded into many layers of distortion, delay, and choirs. I look forward to the next time they are coming through town.

Luminance - “The Grey”

Wes turned me on to Luminance recently and it has come in and out of rotation over the last two months. Really solid production and a lot of different genres all blended up into one new sound. “The Grey” reminds me a lot of Clan of Xymox’s album Medusa (specifically “Back Door”). Another track that is probably the slowest on the album, but I really like the emotional weight of the lyrics and how minimal but impactful the synth lines are. “Visions of death. It’s always the same.”


Tullia Benedicta - “Signs”

I’ve been enjoying this for the past week. It’s an interesting mix between some more traditional electronic music and some nice dark tones. The kick has a really nice feel to it, and I love the use of a sort of rolling percussion through the song - a kind of echoing click that moves back and forth. What really makes the song feel nice and dark, though, are the play between the sort of held back vocals and the soft pads. The pads create this constant undercurrent that cuts at the seemingly upbeat little guitar hit and plucky synth that pops in. The vocals feel pulled back, like she can’t fully commit to belting, but in a very effective, purposeful way.

Then, halfway through, the song changes completely. The vocals drop to a spoken word section, and the music starts to feel almost like a How To Destroy Angels track; there’s this weird unsettling metallic sound happening, this great little repeating riff, and the distorted percussive hits force your attention. It’s really a great track, from a really interesting album, and I would recommend giving the whole thing a listen.

An Autumn For Crippled Children - “Converging Towards the Light”

I can’t remember how I came about these folks, but I am glad I did. An Autumn For Crippled Children has a really interesting mix of genres going on; I think this song is a particularly good example of this. The group seems to be taking a lot of post-rock influences, mixing these open melodics riffs with piano and synths, before dropping into what is clearly their primary influence - black metal. The vocals howl through distortion behind tremolo picking, only for the song to open back up into big melodic set pieces. The only downside to the group, in my mind, is that I wish the guitars were a little less noisy so you could hear more of everything, but it’s a small issue in an otherwise great song, and fantastic album.