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Song Premiere: "Subtle" by HALLOWS

11 February 2020

HALLOWS – Photo Credit: Daniel Kastner

Today we are pleased to present the debut offering from Seattle-based darkwave duo HALLOWS, one of many bands currently transforming the city’s sonic-aesthetic association from one that is grunge-based to one that is sleek, synth-laced, black-clad, and forward-thinking.

The song ‘Subtle’ is the EP’s title track. Comprised of five tracks, the band’s Subtle EP will be released digitally and on limited-run cassette via Phage Tapes in early April.

With music somewhere within the triangle of darkwave, post-punk, and goth electro, this music somewhat recalls Clan of Xymox and Front 242. Among newer bands, Soft Kill, Ritual Howls, Tempers, Hant,e and She Past Away come to mind. Dark, pointed and catchy, this heady mix a welcome and tasty bite-sized teaser for their first official release.

HALLOWS formed in 2018 in Minneapolis / St. Paul, but has since made their way to the west coast. Consisting of Dom R. (vocals, guitar, synth, drum programming) and Vanee D. (vocals, synth, bass), their music presents layers of yearning sounds that bleed into uplifting, sanguine beats. Their compositions offer intimate messages about modern-day malaise conveyed through an exposed, vulnerable lens.

The title track ‘Subtle’ cautiously blends euphonious words about overwhelming struggles with unease and angst that one cannot overcome. Raw, aggressive cries of the same nature emerge, first acknowledging and then surrendering to the shadows. ‘Subtle’ is about ultimately yielding – about that point when one feels the lowest, giving in and giving up, ending with a sorrowful, yet enraged, “I can’t fight, I won’t fight.”

“Subtle was the last song we wrote for this EP. It juxtaposes the immenseness of urban rot, epitomized by transient cranes, colossal superstructures, and people left in disrepair. In all of our minuteness next to this behemoth, I felt our deepest shadows, be it, anxiety, fear, or misery, felt even more towering in the city,” says Vanee D.

“The melody and lyrics encapsulate the essence of the vulnerability and discomfort that I was feeling at that time and profoundly wanted to convey in words, melody, and emotion. Dom helped with this process, contributing deep, raw, and aggressive layers to the song with his singing. The inspiration comes from a dark place and is a disquieting expose into conceding to those shadows. Yet, it is told in a waltzing tenderness that many will relate to.”

Composed entirely in V and D’s living room while still living in St Paul, Subtle is an intimate record for them. Using a mix of analog mojo and the coldness of digital synths, their sound seeks to reconcile opposite worlds and produce something meaningful out of the chaos surrounding us today.

HALLOWS blend melodic guitar riffs, commanding bass lines, a combination of melancholic and gritty synths, lyrical beats, and moody vocals telling tales. They bring tidings of unease: straining loneliness and isolation, anxiety and fears of meteoric nature, the nightmares of encroaching love, dejected vulnerability, and a life extinct of realization.

“My main inspiration with HALLOWS is the beauty and chaos of modern life. I feel that being human these days is a complicated (both good and bad) experience. Though we have so much comfort, technology, and options, we still feel somewhat limited and boxed,” says Dom R.

HALLOWS’ music is influenced by many of their own modern peers, including Ritual Howls, Odonis Odonis, Drab Majesty, Soft Kill, Boy Harsher, Tempers, Linea Aspera, Hante, Kaelan Mikla, Street Sects and Hide.

As of March 18, the ‘Subtle’ single will be available digitally. The full EP will be released on April 3 on cassette, as well as digitally. It can be pre-ordered directly from the band via Bandcamp

All tracks written and performed by HALLOWS
Dom R. – vocals, guitar, synth, drum programming
Vanee D. – vocals, synth, bass
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Ryan Olcott at the Carleton Artist Lofts
Album art by Ian T. Miller

Feb. 23 Seattle, WA – Fred Wildlife Refuge benefit
Mar. 21 Seattle, WA – Highline Bar (Tickets HERE)
Mar. 29 Portland, OR – Lovecraft Bar
Mar. 30 Seattle, WA – Central Saloon
Apr. 04 Seattle, WA – Hollow Earth Radio

Enjoy this other streamable delight from the band’s forthcoming EP:

Teaser for Subtle: