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!
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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