One of the things I love about Krill is the way they juggle humor, sadness, hopefulness, and apathy without ever making it look hard, which it most definitely is. For as much as they make people laugh and goof around during shows it’s telling that in the notes for their upcoming EP, Steve Hears Pile In Malden And Bursts Into Tears, the group spends more time talking about David Foster Wallace than themselves. There’s a real connection there, and not just because the band lives and works in the same neighborhoods that Infinite Jest took place in. Krill nail that balance in the same way as the writer, who people often forget in the midst of all his work’s density was funny as hell and, above all, deeply sincere.
So with that in mind it is a very Krill move to name one of their most emotionally wrenching songs “Turd.” Here singer Jonah Furman envisions himself as a piece of shit perpetually spiraling in a toilet without flushing (itself, a little reminiscent of a very iconic early IJ scene involving an insect on a shelf). It sidesteps humor mostly, and embraces the sad and pathetic image of being stuck in transition. It’s that awkwardness, though, that makes the song, and Furman’s hopes that “every time I make a commitment, maybe I’d be happier” or promises that “I’ll never kill myself” hit so hard. Musically as well it finds the band growing, embracing a longer length with more restrained and dense arrangements. Even though they’re playing together more seamlessly than ever, they let the goofiness of a song called “Turd” and the difficulty of what it’s actually about all clash in a way that becomes deeply affecting. It’s precarious and challenging, but they manage to make it look effortless.
Steve Hears Pile In Malden And Bursts Into Tears is out 2/18 via Exploding In Sound. Pre-order here.