Queens-based composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer Eartheater practices her own brand of poetry, defining a sound mix of electronic and acoustic. In terms of content, she deals with themes such as erosion and stone formation and the infinite possibilities of emotional and physical metamorphosis.
On Powders, the first of her two upcoming albums, alchemical forces connect ideas from every stage of her career just as they dissolve her practice into atomized particles ripe for reconstitution. “Powders is a series of vignettes about the process of breaking things down,” she explains. “Once a substance is ground down to powder, it’s in its tiniest molecular state, enabling it to then be integrated into something new.” Powders positions Eartheater at a fertile crossroads, embracing collaboration in production and professional studio recording practices while honing her pop songwriting and her lyrics to their sharpest and most vivid state to date – all without losing the thread of future-facing experimentation that has enlivened her work from her earliest recordings. “I’m drawn to the way a pop song can sound like sugar until you realize it’s laced with poetic bitters and remedy,” she explains.
The album draws varied energies from Eartheater’s own omnivorous tastes as a songwriter and from her stable of collaborators, showcasing production that shifts on a dime between mutated dance music, unadorned folk balladry, trip-hop, and torch song pop songcraft. If her compositions seem to inhabit a shell of one style for the span of a verse or so, tendrils of another style slide into view. Her signature filtered blastbeats well up alongside bursts of sub-bass to wash over bright acoustic guitar riffs ready for the autumn beach. Swirls of flute and orchestral strings rise up throughout, offering a throughline of chamber music now six albums deep. As the distinction between the genres that she dips into begins to fade away in the mosaic view of Powders, we follow her words and her transfixing multi-octave melodic runs wherever they may take us. While previous albums found Eartheater’s vocals typically warped by effects or piled thick with multi-tracked layering, Powders presents them resolutely up front in the mix, highlighting her performances with new purity and detail.
Tuesday, November 7