TR 248CD TR 248CD

Birdmen time-travellers, a tale of an unhappy girl named Louise, the story of a schizophrenic banned from paradise, celestial radio, oceanic dream therapy, reflections on death, a letter to the moon, madness, and euphoria. The Soft Hills' new album, Chromatisms, features 10 new songs that explore these subjects and other ruminations on the human relationship with the unconscious and the emotional. Seattle indie group The Soft Hills were formed in 2007 by singer-songwriter Garrett Hobba. The current line-up consists of Hobba on guitar and vocals, Randall Skrasek on drums and Moog, Matthew Brown on lap steel and guitar, and Brett Massa on bass and vocals. With an appreciation for experimentation and harmony, their songs draw from a wide range of influences from folk to psychedelic to ambient, drawing on literary influences, and incorporating experiences from dreams and visions. The Soft Hills released their debut album The Bird is Coming Down to Earth (TR 227CD/LP) on Tapete Records in January 2012, which was followed by a European tour in May. Their new record Chromatisms is a study in contrasts -- of light and shadow, yin and yang, birth and death. The album combines the delicate immediacy of folk with the power and majesty of post-rock, arrangements that nod to the classic era of '60s rock while looking forward with intertwining synths where beautiful harmonies sit on top of layers of feedback, and lyrics dig deep into the unconscious, trying to make sense of the magical and the real, the place between madness and euphoria. Compositionally, the band utilizes a diverse palette of colors, blending together reverbed guitars with Moog textures, fuzzy riffs with Mellotrons, lyrical bass lines against thunderous drums and delicate lap steel weaving around vocals to create lush collages of sound. The music reveals a band in transfiguration, a group moving towards darker realms of sonic and lyrical exploration. The record was mixed by Erik Blood and produced by Matthew Brown.