King Woman – “Shame”
Bay Area outfit King Woman don't qualify as easy listening. Colloquially, their music falls about halfway between Electric Wizard and Mazzy Star, and one of the things those bands specialize in is burying the catchiest parts of their songs deep beneath haze. King Woman do the same. Their debut EP, Doubt, followed those two threads into near drone territory. Singer and creative epicenter Kristina Esfandiari commands an intoxicating voice, but it's never front-and-center in their sound. Not that any other instrument really is, either. Producer Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker) gives their debut LP Created in the Image of Suffering the same dreamy atmosphere that characterized his work on Sunbather and Crowhurst.
Which is what makes "Shame" such a revelation. One of the best cuts from Created in the Image of Suffering, it debuted last week on NPR, and it's still on repeat. The chorus Esfandiari settles into on the latter part of the song repeats like a mantra, sticking deeper every time. It hints at an irresistibly appealing King Woman - one even more apparent on the album only track "Worn". I cannot wait for you all to be able to taste that slice of cake.
Other songs, like the previously released (and video-supported) "Deny" work on similar song structres, but focus more on downtempo crushing than soaring vocals.
Created in the Image of Suffering will be released on 2/24 via Relapse. Pre order it here.
The band will support the record on tour with the also Jack Shirley'd band Oathbreaker and Jaye Jayle.
March 15 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
March 16 Washington, DC @ DC9
March 17 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight
March 18 Nashville, TN @ The End
March 19 Orlando, FL @ Backbooth
March 20 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
March 22 Dallas, TX @ Three Links
March 23 Houston, TX @ Walter’s
March 24 Austin, TX @ Sidewinder
Oathbreaker, by the way, was one of Bruce Hardt's 15 essential hardcore bands of 2016 in the first edition of What Assails You. Jaye Jayle, meanwhile, is about to release a split EP with Emma Ruth Rundle, who will tour with another band from Jack Shirley's repertoire, Deafheaven.
Follow King Woman on Facebook.