EP4 from Praises (a loose collective of artists led by songwriter Jesse Crowe featuring Shortbloom, and members of Chandra, Sauna, Blonde Elvis, For Jane, Beliefs) is a welcome respite from the optimism of North America in 2021.
When Praises began, it was a side project intended as a creative outlet for its members, particularly as a space for Jesse Crowe to be as abrasive, theatrical, and experimental as possible. EP4 is a digression and an evolution for Praises, shifting into a more downtempo and introspective space, no doubt informed by the difference in energy between playing packed warehouses in Toronto vs playing in the same bedroom day in and day out.
While the news chatters on about post-pandemic living and post-Trump democracy, EP4 is here to seduce you into embracing a very justified anger at the state of the world. The runtime here is quick, only 4 songs spread out over 17 minutes, and they all toe the line between hypnotic shoegaze and pyroclastic industrial music. The lyrics, on the rare occasions they can be picked out, sound like the kinds of frustrated moans you’d find in a Jenny Holzer installation. Like Holzer’s work, the sounds here are intimidating and destructive, but the effect is validating. This is resting bitch face music, take the bus to the protest music and cut your own hair during another round of quarantine music. EP4 is perfectly timed for what looks like a third consecutive autumn of COVID lockdowns in North America.
Standouts from this 4 track EP include the unsettlingly sweet “Apples For My Love,” and the unapologetically angsty “World On Fire,” which also comes with a foreboding music video consisting of intercut footage from a nightmarish walk in the woods.
EP4 is out August 5 on Hand Drawn Dracula, stream it below.EP4 by Praises