Houndstooth – “Borderlands” (Stereogum Premiere)

Houndstooth are a four-piece from Portland who occupy the unlikely crossroads of Americana and dream pop. Born out of a couple basement demos between singer/songwriter Katie Bernstein and John Gnorski, these two southern transplants fleshed out the group with drummer/producer Graeme Gibson and Cari Palazzolo on bass. Their initial record Ride Out The Dark came out in 2013, and they’re on the verge of releasing the follow-up, No News From Home. As the title suggests, the album is full of antsy, moody songs that obsessively watch the clock with full knowledge that time is still hurtling by. Lead single “No News From Home” eyes a phone that never rings and an inbox that’s tellingly empty. “Borderlands” is the second song from the album and it gets more explicit about the separation anxiety that trails behind a relationship’s dissolution. Over Gibson’s freight train drumming, Bernstein’s papery, halting alto takes on the no-man’s-land between breaking up and letting go. All the while, Gnorski’s guitar lines wander in and out of the picture, reminiscing and prodding at the past. “To love is to lose control and to become wild,” Bernstein sings near the song’s end, before torching that charming image a few lines later — this wilderness has burned down. Listen below.

No News From Home is out 3/31 via No Quarter.

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