These premiere things typically come equipped with a vaguely tangential intro. However, I'm too damn excited about today's track to meander en route to our destination. Without further ado, then:
Breaths is the latest project from multi-instrumentalist (and multi-talented, while we're at it) Richmond's own Jason Roberts. If you recognize the name--or the vocals, in due course--it's because we slumbering scribes have previously covered not one but two of his other bands: dreamy post-metallers CHNNLR and doom-afflicted post-metallers Conductor. This time around, however, he's striking out in a solo endeavor...that also carries itself with a certain post-metal gravitas. The track lurking below, "Lined in Silver," is the titular lead single in advance of Breaths' forthcoming debut album. Give it a listen, and, as always, we'll be waiting beyond the fold.
There are few things more enjoyable than following an artist through a variety of projects--noticing the similarities and differences, becoming reacquainted with favored motifs, and rejoicing in the growth. Here, we see a variety of elements that have appeared in these previous projects. Take, for example, the vocal clarity, as well as the tendency to compose with a deliberate awareness of dynamic flow. "Lined In Silver" takes these elements and rearranges them in a form that is easily Roberts' heaviness material to date. And yet, the track is truly made by the masterful juxtaposition of the ambient and the blackened; the gentle and the pugilistic. It's a wonderful evolution.
"Lined In Silver" opens on a light-footed note. A sweetly familial intro in the crisply emotive delivery we've come to know and love, simultaneously floating and grounded in the ambient instrumentation. This is perhaps Breaths' greatest strength: maintaining a sense of cohesion in the vocal department across a diverse sonic backdrop. And that, I hasten to add, does not indicate that the vocals are uniform--far from it. Roberts doles out back-and-forth harshs and the cleans with the certitude of someone who really knows how to read the emotional aura of the room. Once the hammer falls and the hefty doomgaze-y riffage clashes swords with crashing percussion, the track shifts in an obviously aggressive direction, aided, of course, by equally aggressive vocals. But then the sentimental tone re-emerges...only to sink (or rise?) into the fray once more. And so on, back to the cleans before a pounding groove-ridden outro. And, lest it be forgot: the "I love you daddy" at the very end really ties the whole damn thing together, doesn't it?
It's a comforting song, as emotionally stirring as it is enjoyable on a base sonic level. It's a weighty track that never feels bogged down or restrained by it's own weight, and that, in and of itself, is a major accomplishment. Needless to say, I'm personally a huge fan of what Breaths is doing here, and await the forthcoming full length with a certain glee. In the meantime, I'll be spinning "Lined In Silver" on repeat for the better part of the day. This track is available for Name Your Own Price, and I highly recommend you go show some love for an artist that has proven, time and time again, that his output is deserving of a little love.
Breaths - "Lined In Silver" was released Oct. 16th, 2020. Buy it on bandcamp here, and keep your eyes peeled for two more singles on their way!
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We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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