Here’s something very exciting coming from Seattle – this arrived at my desk today. Having a chance to preview the upcoming HALLOWS EP entitled ‘Subtle’, I can confirm this is definitely an artist to watch. The duo bring dissonance and flavor, not to mention a yin/yang expression used extremely well (Dead Can Dance are another classic example). The songs are fresh, visceral and super cool; they’ll get you underneath the skin.
Also sitting comfortably in the darkwave, post-punk and goth electro realms, HALLOWS formed in 2018 in Minneapolis / St. Paul, but have since made their way to the west coast. Consisting of Dom R. (vocals, guitar, synth, drum programming) and Vanee D. (vocals, synth, bass), their music presents layers of yearning sounds that bleed into uplifting, sanguine beats. Their compositions offer intimate messages about modern-day malaise conveyed through an exposed, vulnerable lens.
The title track ‘Subtle’ cautiously blends euphonious words about overwhelming struggles with unease and angst that one cannot overcome. Raw, aggressive cries of the same nature emerge, first acknowledging and then surrendering to the shadows. ‘Subtle’ is about ultimately yielding – about that point when one feels the lowest, giving in and giving up, ending with a sorrowful, yet enraged “I can’t fight, I won’t fight.”
“Subtle was the last song we wrote for this EP. It juxtaposes the immenseness of urban rot, epitomized by transient cranes, colossal superstructures, and people left in disrepair. In all of our minuteness next to this behemoth, I felt our deepest shadows, be it, anxiety, fear, or misery, felt even more towering in the city,” says Vanee D.
“The melody and lyrics encapsulate the essence of the vulnerability and discomfort that I was feeling at that time and profoundly wanted to convey in words, melody, and emotion. Dom helped with this process, contributing deep, raw, and aggressive layers to the song with his singing. The inspiration comes from a dark place and is a disquieting expose into conceding to those shadows. Yet, it is told in a waltzing tenderness that many will relate to.”
Composed entirely in V and D’s living room while still living in St. Paul, ‘Subtle’ is an intimate set of recordings for them. Using a mix of analog mojo and the coldness of digital synths, their sound seeks to reconcile opposite worlds and produce something meaningful out of the chaos surrounding us today.
HALLOWS blend melodic guitar riffs, commanding bass lines, a combination of melancholic and gritty synths, lyrical beats, and moody vocals telling tales. They bring tidings of unease: straining loneliness and isolation, anxiety and fears of meteoric nature, the nightmares of encroaching love, dejected vulnerability, and a life extinct of realization.
“My main inspiration with HALLOWS is the beauty and chaos of modern life. I feel that being human these days is a complicated (both good and bad) experience. Though we have so much comfort, technology, and options, we still feel somewhat limited and boxed,” says Dom R.
HALLOWS’ music is influenced by many of their own modern peers, including Ritual Howls, Odonis Odonis, Drab Majesty, Soft Kill, Boy Harsher, Tempers, Linea Aspera, Hante, Kaelan Mikla, Street Sects and Hide.
As of March 18, the ‘Subtle’ single will be available digitally. The full EP by the same name will be released on April 3 on cassette, as well as digitally. It can be pre-ordered via HALLOWS’ Bandcamp site.
All tracks written and performed by HALLOWS
Dom R. – vocals, guitar, synth, drum programming
Vanee D. – vocals, synth, bass
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Ryan Olcott at the Carleton Artist Lofts
Album art by Ian T. Miller
Feb. 23 Seattle, WA – Fred Wildlife Refuge benefit
Mar. 21 Seattle, WA – Highline Bar (Tickets at bit.ly/highline032120)
Mar. 29 Portland, OR – Lovecraft Bar
Mar. 30 Seattle, WA – Central Saloon
Apr. 04 Seattle, WA – Hollow Earth Radio
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