|Them Are Us Too|
Them Are Us Too is the project of Kennedy and Cash hailing from Santa Cruz, CA. The project originally started with Kennedy making music from a very early age creating a style of "lo-fi noisy bedroom pop", as she states it. This evolved over the years as she set out on her own, even playing a few shows by herself in a sort of "one man band" fashion, sometimes playing guitars and keys at the same time. Cash entered the scene not too long ago some time after seeing one of her solo performances when they met through mutual acquaintances at his birthday party. Through various drunken circumstances, he ended up as part of the band at a live show the next day and at that point the duo was formed.
The name of the band was derived from socio-economic circumstances arising from the recession starting in 2008. As Kennedy explains it "... a lot of tent cities started popping up all around the sacramento area, and i was talking to my mom about how all of the sudden homelessness was getting a lot of media attention because "normal people" were losing their jobs and houses, but i thought it was kind of shitty because in my mind nobody talked or cared about homelessness until the homeless were "us" instead of a perceived "them." the name popped into my head, and it was either that day or the day after that i wrote the first song and i posted it under that moniker. the idea of "othering" is still really interesting to me, and i continually rethink and give new meaning to the name."
The excellent style of music presented by this duo is definitely captivating and reflects influences from many of the great bands throughout the years. From the droning electronics to the subtle guitars and ethereal vocals, we can hear and detect influences from The Cure, Slowdive and Cocteau Twins and many, many others. The band members name several artists as influences and favorites from the above as well as classic punk and post-punk like Joy Division and too many others to name here. Over the last year or so they've managed to put together a few tracks and released them on Bandcamp. This year they pulled several tracks together into their debut album, also released on bandcamp, featuring eight excellent selections as reviewed below. We look forward to many more to come over the years. Be sure to check out the band's bandcamp page to listen and buy their music.
T.A.U.T. - Review
This duo presents us with their first official full-length album. What we have presented here are eight excellent pieces these artists have put together over the past year. The music on the album spans an electronic ethereal style similar to bands like The Cocteau Twins and Mellonta Tauta along with some of the newer minimalistic, electronic post-punk bands we've been introducing here on Gothic Paradise like Phosphor, Drunk With Joy and Mercurine.
This masterpiece starts off strong with "Eudaemonia", a track that slowly moves along with subtle percussion and swirling electronics that slowly pull the listener into a euphoric, electronics-induced dream-like state. The album drifts along somewhere between electronica and new wave, with dark textured synths and mid-tempo rhythms. The siren-like vocals hold the listener mesmerized with each piece while the amount of reverb keeps it all a little unfocused, as if looking through a foggy window at the images on the other side slowly moving, seeing enough to hold the attention but not grasping every detail. The music is this way as the vocals make the lyrics just not quite intelligible, picking things up here and there, but with the smooth flowing music providing the hypnotic back-drop, you don't really care, you just listen and enjoy the music, the sounds, the voice.
I usually pick out a few favorite tracks to mention, but in reality the entire album is great. "Us Now" quickly became a favorite with the dreamy vocals floating across the loopy electronics and somber rhythms. "The Problem With Redheads" maintains that same dreamy and soothing feeling, drifting along, brining a shift in the vocal style toward the end with the higher octave notes which we then carry on to "Marilyn". We get a little diversity in this piece with the addition of equally unintelligible male vocals, besides the subtle shift in musical structure. At this point the music becomes a little more melancholy as we drift through "Creepy Love" and "False Moon", both beautiful and spellbinding pieces before drifting off into "Angelene". The finale to the album "695 Mi" is the most abbrasive and aggressive track with grinding guitar that creates a heavy psychadelic feel to the music, while bringing something new to the album, this is the one piece I felt I could say was my least favorite if I had to choose one, yet still a great track.
Maybe this isn't an album to replace Disintegration from The Cure, but it's a great addition to any fans of The Cure from those glory days. As a whole, the album really works, it's perfect to listen to in it's entirety rather than picking and choosing individual singles to listen to, yet each individual piece still stands on it's own just fine, as fans have found on our radio shows.
Website: Them Are Us Too on Bandcamp