Seattle quintet These People Here have just released their début A Bitter Seed, an album that escapes pigeon-holing. The first track suggests post-rock, but then upon hearing further songs I can’t decide. Indie? Rock? Regardless of how you classify it, the music is simultaneously unsettling and beautiful.
Four of the seven tracks feature vocals – stunningly haunting singing with more than a touch of melancholy. Keyboardist Aileen Paron uses her voice to create stunning harmonies that enhances the brooding moodiness of the music.
Rebecca Gutterman and Rian Turner bring duel guitars which layer atop each other. Their bio lists math rock/post-hardcore legends Rodan as a formative influence of the band, which becomes very clear when you listen to the built up swells and eccentric noodling away. Thomas Edwards provides some deft drumming that captures my attention as I listen. He’s no hard hitter, but makes up for it with speed, finesse and variety with his fills and flourishes.
A Bitter Seed is dramatic and depressingly, thematically speaking, but it’s not all doom and gloom. As I said, the band defy classification, and there are some great moments that make me smile at the originality. One of my highlights is the catchy bassy riffs in the opening section of “Fading Light” And I love the effects in final track “Catastrophism”, an instrumental number that sounds reversed, with eerie wailing punctuating the ebbs in the music.
One thing’s for sure, These People Here know how to set a mood. I hesitate to use the term gothic, but I can definitely picture Edgar Allen Poe enjoying this album whilst petting his pet raven and sipping some red wine. Check A Bitter Seed out if you like your music original sounding and slightly on the macabre side.
These People Here links