Karen Gwyer - New Roof EP

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  • Karen Gwyer's Needs Continuum, a joyful record that celebrated her first pregnancy and the birth of her son, was described in the text accompanying the release as "bath house." It was an apt coinage: the squelchy synth loops, humming basslines and knocking drums, along with Gwyer's smeary vocals, sounded as if they were coalescing in a steamy haze. On New Roof, Gwyer avoids vocals altogether, instead opting for a greater focus on synthwork. The result is more hypnotic but less interesting. "Lay Claim To My Grub" riffs on a simple synth loop for seventeen minutes. The dubby, tumbling drum pattern is a compelling enough contrast with the gooey synth and bassline, but it's nothing you haven't already heard on Needs Continuum highlights "Sugar Tots" or "Some Of My Favorite Lotions." "Nail Bars of the Apocalypse" is a sub-two-minute interlude whose dislocated sadness and new age-y organ chords recall a Replica-era Oneohtrix Point Never, and whose swampy atmosphere carries through to "Mississippi." That track's nimble drum patterns are an interesting counterpoint to the pulsating synth chords, but without sufficient tension, the track's 17 minutes start to drag. Her bath house is as soothing and warm as you'd expect, but it's also liable to wash over you.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Lay Claim To My Grub A2 Nail Bars Of The Apocalypse B Missisissipippi