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Underground Unusualities #5: Haunted’s Uncut Reality and the Mournful Trance


In this series, Jenna scours the musical expanse for unusual (but fitting) albums to soundtrack life’s tumult.

That empty space hanging between consciousness and exhaustion is filled with delirium: a condition that is occasionally violated by uncut reality. It is within this state that I wander from the short list of places to which I am required to be seen, and if I am lucky, unheard. I clutched the pole by the internal ticket validator on a packed train home, struggling to maintain balance on the high heels of my boots. My muscle arms convulsing from the pressure of my grasp, I focused intently on the sound of Haunted‘s plodding despondence, encapsulated handily in her newest EP titled The Marcid Sky That Glistens…

I had hit the chaotic climax of “Nest” when I heard shouts that managed to cut more deeply than the echoing vocal performance in which I was lost.

I pivoted to my right to see a woman in her 30s, her eyes bursting through her tapered haircut. “She needs to get through!” was accompanied the grey noise buzzing distantly from the earbuds I had immediately ripped out. Over my shoulder, I saw an older woman who about came up to my chest, one hand on her pushcart and another raised at me. With no place to go myself, I thrust forward into the middle-aged man in front of me. Despite his anchoring, I managed to clear a path. “These people always have those earphones in,” she muttered upon her exit. “It’s anti-social.”

My grip returned to the pole, but it was much feebler than before. I counted the stops until finally, mine. Departing with an arm brush with the cockeyed woman, I crossed the street to my block with legs full of silicon.

Under the patter of stray raindrops, I rounded the corner of towered bricks to the stoop of my apartment building, craving the mess of sheets on the other side of the wall. My pace abruptly stopped outside when I noticed that there was a figure that remained from when I had left the house hours prior. It was a mass in a beige blanket, wrapped in such a way that masked his face. He was seated solid and still in a tall hospital wheelchair. His swollen bare feet were rooted in the stirrups. I took a cautious step forward, waiting for a slow but steady rise of pill fabric. No such luck. My hypothesis on my way to the train station had been that he was waiting for some sort of social service to pick him up. After all, he was perched on the edge of the curve facing the street, lying in wait.

I made the executive decision to go inside and regroup before phoning the police, but the familiar squeaks of the floorboards and the clinking of my latch proved intoxicating, allowing the outside to become a dystopia I distantly recalled reading about in a young adult novel. My boots were kicked under my bed, my bag was thrown into the corner, and Haunted saw an upgrade from headphones to stereo. My body became just another peak in the mountain on my bed, my mouth taking refuge in an air pocket. The words “why am I still breathing” gradually moved across the phone screen hooked into a tangled RCA cable – a makeshift lighthouse in a room otherwise marked by darkness.

All the way across the country and over the ocean in the United Kingdom, there is another lone woman, Hysteria, channeling her solitude into the creation of gloriously frightening atmosphere. The patience taught in her hypnotic songwriting is a virtue unbeknownst to other artists who tend to go right for the jugular. The Marcid Sky That Glistens… EP is an addition to an already noteworthy body of work that bridges the gap between experimental wonder and quintessential DSBM. Soft ominous strums serve as bumpers for a host of instrumental discord. Melded together through a mournful trance, Hysteria’s canvas becomes more than summation of its parts.

I, however, was just a passive consumer of it all; a trampled soul tossed forgetfully under the bed, a sack strewn carelessly in the corner.

I pity no cowards, not even the cub that shakes timidly in my chest in the presence of lambs.

The Marcid Sky That Glistens EP released May 26th. Stream it via Bandcamp.

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