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w/ Mr. Vale's Math ClassSlow Corpse
Bite Your Tongue is the second full-length release from Slow Corpse; the indie-rock power couple, Mitchell Winters & Brenton Clarke. The album leaps effortlessly from R&B, to punk, bedroom pop, and hip-hop; showcasing a whole new sonic direction for the duo. Recorded in marathon, late-night sessions in cramped basements throughout the state of Oregon, Bite Your Tongue is a patchwork of ambivalence, hedonism, self-deprecation, confidence, heartbreak, and ultimately acceptance.
In 2019, the Slow Corpse live band went separate ways, opening up a whole new horizon for Winters & Clarke. No longer bound to writing songs for a standard, 5-piece band, they found themselves free to experiment outside of any one genre or style. While still paying homage to their roots in the Pacific Northwest indie scene, the sound is far more ambitious than their earlier work. Bite Your Tongue, finds Winter’s and Clarke at their most vulnerable; teetering between heartbreak and bravado, in and out of relationships, and longing for understanding in the mire.
Winters and Clarke wrote and produced this album in their bedrooms during the Fall & Winter of 2019 and 2020. While continuing to remain fearlessly DIY, Slow Corpse enlisted outside help in the form of Cameron Spies (Radiation City, Night Heron) to assist in the tracking, production, and mixing. The album was mixed at Trash Treasury recording studio in Portland, OR and mastered by Nuri Hobbess (The Shivas, Night Heron).Night Heron
The record is called 'Instructions for Night.' And by the end of the first track on Night Heron’s debut, the listener knows who these instructions are for. They’re for those of us awake against our will: tossing in bed after a terrible fight, pacing the hallways of new parenthood, stricken with fear of unemployment or a bad test result. These instructions are for a person (or in the case of 2020, perhaps an entire population), so dislocated by circumstance they no longer make a meaningful distinction between night and day.
But what, exactly, are the instructions? “Stop crying / Go back to sleep” they tell us. (Sleeping Boy). They remind us that “martyrdom's been done before” (Dreamz). And lest we be tempted to seek solace in a device: we gaze into “1000 mirrors” but there is only “one reflection.” And then, with soft insistence: “No one is looking at you / No one is looking at you. / No one is looking at you.”
“Writing about music” Martin Mull observed, “is like dancing about architecture.” And so the writer tends to default to biography or anecdote. Most artists I know feel that biographical trivia cheapens their work. As for Cam Spies, he’d prefer to minimize the fact that Coronavirus affected the way these songs were recorded. And though he’s tentatively okay with my telling you about the personal events that shaped the record--the birth of a child, the unraveling of a relationship, quarantine—he can’t imagine that anyone would care. What does any of it have to do with the music?
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