Past Lives

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Created on: 1 Feb 2008

Band Members

Jordan Blilie // Vocals
Devin Welch // Guitar
Morgan Henderson // Guitar, Sampler, Synth, etc.
Mark Gajadhar // Percussion

Bio from Official Site:

The inception of Seattle quartet Past Lives, appropriately in the spring of last year, represented a true new beginning for its four members-friends since youth and veterans of various game-changing art punk ensembles. (The Blood Brothers, Shoplifting, Chromatics, and others) Through a tirelessly paced program of local live performances, as well as some initial, somewhat exploratory recordings, (the critically lauded Strange Symmetry EP and their winningly experimental entry in the Journal of Popular Noise series) Past Lives took an accelerated course in defining and refining exactly what their music was to be. All of this flinty work finds fruit on Tapestry of Webs, their debut album and one of the most assured and fully-realized art rock statements in some time.

Recorded with legendary Northwest producer Steve Fisk (Unwound, Beat Happening, Low, and entirely too many to list), Tapestry of Webs finds Past Lives combining the roiling, skewering rhythmic sensibilities developed over the course of their work in previous bands with greater senses of dramatic patience and sonic and compositional dimensionality. The fervor of galloping single “Hex Takes Hold” sits alongside the disconcertingly wide open spaces and elegant melody of “Deep in the Valley” and, indeed, many of the record’s most evocative moments are its most restrained.

Individually, the four young men of Past Lives display prodigious growth and refinement on Tapestry of Webs. Singer Jordan Blilie has mostly abandoned the paint-stripping screams of his prior band for a dramatic and dour croon and his lyrics deal in more classic-feeling poetics than previously, lending the songs a more immediate and tangible emotiveness. Guitarist Devin Welch has adopted some decisively effective elements of surf guitar into his playing, and on passages like the instrumental bridge of “Past Lives” lends a deeply nostalgic beauty. Multi-instrumentalist Morgan Henderson keeps one foot in his rhythm section roots while vastly expanding the branches of compositional filigree he provides on guitar, keyboards, clarinet, and various musical droids. And at the band’s nuclear core, drummer Mark Gajadhar remains an engine of ever-more-bristling rhythmic invention.

On their debut Past Lives truly embody the greatest possible example of a new band peopled by artistically seasoned musicians. Emboldened and enriched by their many years of hard-touring, expansively creative experience, but with the sort of conceptual urgency and energy of a teenage band, Past Lives march forth with steely grace on Tapestry of Webs.

Official Site:

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