Troth - Forget The Curse
Long player number three for the nighttime-dwelling Newcastle duo finds both a home and kindred spirits in Gothenburg's Mammas Mysteriska Jukebox, the label co-run by Elin and Julius of Loopsel/Monokultur et al. Much like those well loved acts, there's an avant pop sensibility to Troth that undercuts a resolute DIY sensibility, which makes for a set of songs as welcoming as they are searching. Cooper Bowman, the mainly non-singing part of the group, also heads up the prolific Altered States Tapes, and that Forget the Curse hasn't been issued on his own label is revealing of the communal and convivial approach that drives Troth. The glassy synths, close mic-d guitars and dubby undercurrents that shape these eight tracks might belong to the dark corners of the night, but Amelia Besseny's vocals remain high in the mix throughout, as if a hand reaching from the shadows looking to connect, to communicate. It's a significant aesthetic decision, a kind of shadowplay that speaks more for the light than it does the dark, a trick central to a lot of what we might consider trip hop (and i especially hear Bowery Electric in their music). There's rarely a wasted moment, but there's also a knock-out highpoint, too, specifically the title track that fittingly arrives right in the centre of the record. The pulse of bass, a delayed piano trill and a subtle sax flourish loop for five compelling minutes, this time led by Bowman's dulcet vocal, Besseny's coo adding texture behind him, a kind of emotional scaffolding propping up the haunting lyricism. Its impact is instant, and though the pair have made plenty of great music already, it's their first creation of real genius, demanding immediate replays. Consider it a calling card moment for an ever-moving act, likely one that's going to open a good few more doors for them. Appropriate, really, for a pair that continually operate an open house.
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