23 Sept 2015

Erasers - Stem Together

Reviewed by Joseph Murphy

Perth, Australia’s Erasers make their debut from Fire Talk (US & Europe) and Pouring Dream (Australia) this month. Though polished to a fine sheen, "Stem Together" remains hazy and textured; it's a bit of a slow burn, but the duo - Rupert Thomas and Rebecca Orchard - has successfully cultivated their moody design and consistently charted landscapes of eclectic rhythm - that isn't without its grooves - space conscious guitar and hypnotic synths - and of course those airy vocals that carry the whole thing off perfectly. What struck me most about Erasers' music was their willingness to meditate upon a progression without too many flourishes or layers; there's no part where everything comes in, complete with booming drum kits or waves of distortion (which can be great but sometimes predictable). Instead, Erasers is content to allow the song to move towards completion without much change and only a few additions as it goes. And it work very well for them: minimal, textured, and compact.

From the start, "Stem Together" embraces the drones, whether through Orchard's voice, the loose guitar tones or the solid organ progression. "By Your Side," the opening track, contains a mesmerizing rhythm that grounds the drones of the synth. As far as introductory songs go, this one does its job and more. From the first listen, the minimalism and simultaneously curated layers set the lure.

For a short song, "Bright Points" succeeds by building a lot of atmosphere. Orchard's vocals are treated as an additional instrument, adding only the slightest impression of words over the ambient crackles and dense synth. It's incredibly simple, but it's the perfect recipe for Erasers, especially as the second half of the record continues from there - a bit more driven and percussive, especially stand out track "Leaves."

For fans of early post rock (think Labradford), electronica, drone, and shoegaze; it's all here and comes together beautifully. "Stem Together" is out September 25, and available from their Bandcamp page on cassette, vinyl or digital.

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