Archive for the ‘King Woman’ Category

Sounds Like Hell: King Woman

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Doubt is the new(-ish) EP from King Woman, the Bay Area quartet founded by ex-Whirr frontwoman Kristina Esfandiari, and it’s one of the most powerful four-song collections I’ve ever listened to. Maybe brevity works in their favour – this is ostensibly shoegaze, a style ripe with repetition – but at 19 minutes in length, it’s a concentrated dose unsettling and otherworldly drone.

There’s an almost funereal reverence to music played this slowly and deliberately. It’s not hard to imagine these songs reverberating around the walls of a cathedral, shaking its aged foundations. Esfandiari’s vocals are at once buried and apart from the mix – on opener “Wrong” it feels like her voice is struggling to escape from the caving noise around her, while on “King of Swords” it’s as though she’s singing from another room – but in both instances her breathy incantations imbue the gargantuan guitars and the punishing authority of the drums with a celestial strength. This is music best heard in dark rooms at full volume, over and over again.

Doubt is out now on Flenser Records.