Balms are a band from San Francisco who, on their new single “Candle,” play a brooding, chugging form of rock music that reminds me of both goth and grunge. The NPR editor who premiered it compared it to Red House Painters crossed with …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, and I hear that too. It’s real good. They call what they do “dreamare pop,” a term so awkward that they’d probably just stick to playing music. Music, though, they have a handle on.
Here’s what Balms have to say about their upcoming debut album, Mirror:
The album’s narrative is a journey-of-self; an exploration confronting the shadow-aspect of the soul. That being said, the only two characters in this story are the Self and the Shadow. With this comes the introverted drama and solitude of the ego. And while this was a source of contention for us in terms of perception, it is our genuine hope that this album can exist as a place of reconciliation, revitalization and growth. It is a place that has been built for you because we had to make it and to make it the best we can.
OK! I was not aware that Balms were such a high-concept operation before copy-pasting that quote in here, but there you have it: Mirror is a “double-sided concept album” born from impossibly high ambitions. That’s the two-way album art up top. Will it truly lead to “reconciliation, revitalization and growth”? Almost certainly not! “Candle” is straight fire, though, so listen to it below.
Mirror is out 2/1.