When I listen to The Night I fear the apocalypse. It’s like a widescreen electrical storm with fragmented noise slowly short-circuiting, a cinematic breakdown. The group’s shoegaze aesthetics bleed as vocalist Aleksa Palladino haunts the songs. I can’t state strongly enough the destructive beauty of what might be the most affecting debut of the year – and then some.
The layered tones of swirling synths and an ethereal soul are dragged closer to the source, with up-close vocals and inventively melodic guitar lines. The stunning, momentous title track is the starting point – it can free-fall between claustrophobia and emancipation within seconds. The aching sincerity in Palladino’s vocal is what we are drawn towards. I could reach for Mazzy Star as a starting point.
Titling your song White Noise sends a clear message – the final moments sounds like the batteries are dying on the cassette player. The pulsating beat and distorted edges have a dark energy.
There is a balance between electronics and organics throughout this record, yet the New York duo (Palladino and guitarist Devon Church) have sensed the need for more than just a carefully created atmosphere. These songs have a feeling. They are emotive from the shadows rather than some well lit stage, but that only makes them more vital and real.
Church has said, “We want our music to confront people in a gentle but powerful way, to make them feel something.” With Passage Exitmusic have achieved just that. You can’t listen to this record and not feel something – enough said.