Caroline White started Infinity Crush as a solo project and her early material — what remains online is mostly from a particularly prolific year in 2013 — bears the marks of that isolation. Scratchy songs recorded in bedrooms, sketches of thoughts that feel all the more special because of their spontaneity, bolstered by the Maryland-based musician’s deep and naturalistic sense of melody and atmosphere. Highlights from that period include Stumble Pretty and Sometimes Even In My Dreams I Am. Since that burst of demos, though, White’s output as Infinity Crush has slowed down to a trickle, mostly relegated to Tumblr audio posts that never seemed to stick around for too long.
In that time, she contributed to Julia Brown, started an ambient pop duo called High Bloom. She recruited best friend Derrick Brandon to join Infinity Crush, and began work on making the project’s first fully-fleshed-out album. “I no longer wanted to release demos,” she explains in a press release. “I wanted to work on songs and have a polished, comprehensive product that I felt reflected me and my experiences… I slowed down in my writing a lot, lost the prolificacy. I recorded songs and never liked them, never felt satisfied, and went through a long period of never writing or recording both because of debilitating depression and overwhelming dissatisfaction. Trying to record songs created a cycle of self-loathing… It was an incredibly exhausting experience.”
Warmth Equation, the new Infinity Crush album, was recorded over two years. It was spearheaded by White, but also features contributions from Brandon and Sam Ray (Teen Suicide, Ricky Eat Acid). It keeps the intimate searching of her earlier work, but feels more sturdy and assured. Its completion was spurred by tragic circumstances — the death of White’s father — and, as much as it wallows in that loss, it also attempts to navigate through it.
“Heaven,” the album’s lead single and closing track, has been floating around online in some form for a few years now, but its new version demonstrates the progression that White has made in her time away. She constructs symphonic orchestras in miniature — layered vocals, swelling strings, skittering beats, all coming together to create something that feels both majestic and insular. “I saw a fire and thought of rain/ It all begins to feel the same with you in me,” White sings, setting the scene for a fantasy that’s imparted in wisps and shimmering mirage.
“‘Heaven’ is a pretty literal song about grief, wherein I imagine what heaven would be if I could create it,” White explains. ” I think the simplistic image of what it would be is exactly what makes it heavenly — just existing and having lilacs in the hair and that’s enough. It reminisces on childhood memories, reshaped and distorted in my father’s absence. In some ways it’s a hopeful song, because denying the hopefulness would allow the devastation to seep in. It feels like a proper last track for the album, because it reflects the stage of grief I’m currently experiencing.”
01 “Drowning Here With All My Friends”
02 “Everything Being Still”
05 “Sun Ache”
07 “Wipe Down”
08 “Pete And Pete”
10 “Over You”