Not all of Stereogum’s favorite sounds conform to what folks expect us to cover. In this space, resident Bananafish fetishist Brandon Stosuy focuses on bands, albums, singles, and villages in Sweden that may otherwise pass by unnoticed. This installment’s virtual milk crate contains Caïna, Mamiffer, and U.S. Girls.
UK’s Caïna, aka 22-year-old Andrew Curtis Bignell, is one of the more uncompromising (and surprising) artists to emerge from the “extreme underground.” He started out as a fairly straight-up one-man black metal act in 2004, but by 2007’s Mourner (his “first ‘real’ album,” in his own words) found a melding of one-man black metal, pretty shoegazing, indie/post-rock, Current 93-esque spoken excursions, and mournful balladry. Since then he’s put out a notable split 7″ with American black metal legend Krieg (on Grief Foundation) and his second proper album Temporary Antennae, where he connects the crisscrosses of his eclectic musicality more seamlessly than on the at times slapdash Mourner, creating a satisfying, mesmerizing whole. He still has the fuzzy black metallic darkness, in fact it’s even heavier and more clattering this time (note the Von shirt), but then take a listen to something like the title track, which might remind folks of Xiu Xiu going shoegaze. Or, if you’re more into the metal thing, Xiu Xiu going Alcest (or Jesu).
The highly recommended Temporary Antennae is out 9/30 on Profound Lore, maybe the most solid, adventurous metal label in operation … and it’s run by one dude. More at Caïna’s MySpace and at his often amusing website.
Based in Seattle, Mamiffer is the work of another one-person multi-instrumental genre splicer Faith Coloccia (ex-Everlovely Lightningheart). Her main instrument of choice here is piano, along with melodica, glockenspiel, tape splices, some voice, etc. On her Mamiffer debut, Hirror Ennifer, she plays droning, stately, often Rachels-eque piano-based compositions punctuated via guest spots by Isis’ Aaron Turner and These Arms Are Snakes’ Chris Common (who engineered/mixed the record), Brian Cook, and Ryan Frederickson plus the sounds of cello, field recordings, glass jars, old distortion pedals, etc.