words by tom johnson
artwork by paige mulhern
While Soft Fangs and Bellows deliver their work slightly differently, the former buried in the shadows of a very real day, the latter via a more mystical approach. That being said, there are certainly parallels to be drawn between the work of John Lutkevich and Oliver Kalb, both of who came of age somewhat on their separate full-length efforts, released last year.
Which makes this new split EP, released via the ever-flourishing Disposable America label, logical and compelling next-step for both. Constructed with two new tracks from each artist, the split is led by Soft Fangs and his wayward and shaded drawl. Lead track “Sugarblood” is a burned-out two-and-a-half minutes, the scratchy, swarming bed of guitars lent a little extra light by Lutkevich’s voice and visions, while “Nine Lives” is somewhat more open, a warm but half-buried strum that manages to feel quietly beautiful, and beautifully quiet, despite it all.
Bellows side of the tape features a new version of an old song, the captivating “Broken Skin”, which Kalb completed on an old Wurlitzer piano in his mother’s house which he procured following the passing of a neighbour in their apartment block: “The Wurlitzer is the first real piano my family has ever owned. It has this quiet, sort of softened or faded sound that has a lot of warmth in it.” The EP then closes with “Blue”, a weightless track built around Kalb’s manipulated vocal which is layered and then joined by a subtle flourish of instrumentation, the EP departing as gracefully, bewitchingly as it arrived.
The full thing is released this Friday, limited cassette tapes and all. You can pre-order it below, and listen to the whole thing right here.
Pre-order the tape here