Houses – Beginnings

Singles / Words

15 Apr 13

Houses’ Album Preview glistens with ingenuity and is as visually appealing as it is sonically – mouse-y piano and pained synth noises in the vein of Holy Other are compacted upon well-trod bass.

The cutesy husband and wife duo previewed ‘Beginnings’ ahead of this week’s album release – which was recorded using intricate samples in “ghost towns of the Mojave Desert”.

I couldn’t quite hear the rattlesnakes – but recording an album on the road (potentially using parts of the road) is a welcome concept which has worked a treat: we’re left with grand, stylish washes of sound which feel like part of a larger, broodier work well worth checking out.

This teaser track from A Quiet Darkness commands an evocative soundscape and, in its stately plod, a force which belies the fact that Houses are but a twosome.

They are Dexter Tortoriello and Megan Messina: a couple bound by a passion for melancholic wanderings musical and literal. The new album centres on the concept of nuclear apocalypse, and was recorded piecemeal in derelict buildings throughout an American road trip.

‘Beginnings’ instigates the album’s parallel between decaying physical structures and haunting song structures – its taut arpeggios and disciplined vocal harmonies giving way to a minimalist rock figure strikingly reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

Houses ‘Beginning’ is a musical brooder which flows along at a gammy legged pace.

A light toy box like piano line holds the foundations steady as it’s battered with gales of plunging guitar chords and atmospheric percussion; with vocals providing the warmth within the winds.

Whilst I enjoyed the track, I did feel like it cut off too soon. It felt like a build-up to some explosive conclusion that never arrived; a sparkler not a rocket.

Though I remember one fireworks night where my Dad had got hold of a set of cheap rockets. They went haywire and I watched excitedly from behind a plant pot as a dazzling bombardment of the neighbourhood commenced.

My neighbours probably would have appreciated a good sparkler that night.

Houses' second full-length LP is available via Downtown Records. Stream it in full on the duo's soundcloud