The music that James Kelly records as WIFE isn't necessarily what you'd expect from a guy who plays in a metal band called Altar of Plagues. In line with the aesthetic that Throwing Snow has cultivated so far with his Left_Blank label, WIFE's music hovers in the space between dusky bass music, ambient and indie songcraft. The opening "Bodies" sounds like an attempt to fuse the folky, acoustic textures of José González with the fuzzy melancholy (and thwacking rimshots) of Burial; "Trials," "Circles," "Shards" and "Endings" proceed in similar fashion, pairing forlorn, layered vocals with trim drum machine grooves and swirls of synthesizer and electric guitar. The most obvious influence hanging over all of it is that of Thom Yorke and Radiohead; the beat-oriented tracks here all aim for a similar vibe as last year's TKOL RMXS series.
There are some strikingly beautiful moments; "Circles" is particularly nice, with its stop-start bursts of rhythm and plangent tone, and "Endings" does lovely things with a forceful Reese bass and glancing, sampled drums. But, as with so much of this kind of moody, not-quite-for-the-club music, taken together, it can be a little too self-serious, a little too precious and pretty. For a record called the Stoic EP, it's supremely sentimental.
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Tracklist: Wife - Stoic EP 01. Bodies