There’s a bar on the block I live called The Woods. It’s mostly a primo pickleback outpost that very occasionally utilizes a raised platform to double as a performance space. The first night they hosted live music was Halloween 2009, also Frankie Rose & The Outs’ debut live performance. Frankie’s Slumberland-sound I knew, so walking by earlier in the night while some unnamed band soundchecked their bleak post-punk synth lines with iced beats was a surprise, and a lure. I thought then of Depeche Mode and Portishead and darkened new wave bands that could tap those brooding, occasionally romantic sounds. At some point Shannon Funchess was bellowing, blowing, in deeply resonant low range, flipping up to just as effectively, easily. Her vocal command is operatic and freakish, and not the sort to stay secret long. Shannon’s a Brooklyn mainstay, she is the dynamo often outshining Nic Offer at !!! shows, lending vocals to Telepathe, and most recently popping up on bills all across the borough with Light Asylum, her duo project with Bruno Coviello. The two songs here sketch out some of Light Asylum’s tendencies: “Shallowtears” is a closing-time slow jam born of a burnished sweetness and yearning, emotive synths; “Dark Allies,” the internet’s choice of this week, is a witchy fix up of Moroder with Shannon gruff, tough, but pained. “She was my heroin,” which could possibly be read as “heroine” if her performance wasn’t so gripping in its anguish, her character herein not so bluntly fucked. The video for it posts up Funchess in triplicate, shoots lasers off her faces, has colored tubelights and a girl with a nice, exposed chest that all tease out the “hail mary” traumatics. Directed by Grant Worth, who gets it.
Watch it, and grab MP3s of both the aforementioned tracks below.
UPDATE: A third, also from the In Tension EP, also self-released, also happens to be my live favorite, and practically uplifting, or at least cathartic. Also, with a sample that serves as the best use of a horse in independent music since of Montreal: