Indie Rock

The Illness – Descending G (w/ Steve West) & Phrase Redacted (w/ Bob Nastanovich)

The Illness (& their label Sea Records) are from my neck of the woods (York, UK) so I was pleasantly surprised to see that their new 12″ single features collaborations with Pavement alumni Steve West & Bob Nastanovich. As a huge Pavement fan, this definitely caught my attention.

Descending G is just the kind of fuzzy, melodic Indie Rock that I love. It is my cup of tea. The steady four to the floor kick drum rhythm underpins Descending G nicely & the layers of distorted guitar & rumbling bass propel it forward. There’s a Krautrock motorik feel to the rhythms. Steve Wests low, mournful vocal is reminiscent of another member of Pavement’s extended family, the late, great DAvid Berman. The opening line especially reminds me of the opening to David Berman’s final album, 2019’s Purple Mountains. Unlike Berman’s music as therapy though, Descending G is upbeat, fun & emotional. Great video too.

Phrase Redacted starts with a dog barking before dropping into more motorik drumming with a steady, solid bass line to match. The guitars are melodic & atmospheric, creating a warm, lush soundscape with the accompanying synth parts. Bob Nastanovich’s vocals are a kind of speak singing, poetry recital style. It’s fun & informal sounding. You can tell he’s really enjoying himself & this style of vocal fits really well with the Krautrock rhythms.

Descending G/Phrase Redacted is available now, digitally, on Bandcamp & is available to pre-order from Bandcamp or Sea Records’ webshop.

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