Sarah Pendleton, lead vocalist and violinist of The Otolith, talks about the inspiration behind the title of the band’s debut album. leaf threshold“A place where you are between two states for minutes or seconds. Like the transition between sleep and wakefulness, drinking and euphoria, life and death. It’s a place where anything can happen.”
If you’re looking for state-of-the-art music, The Otolith’s captivating and experimental blend of doom and post-rock punctuated by violins and multiple vocals might just be what you’re looking for.
Named after the structures in the inner ear of certain animals that help detect movement, sound and balance, The Otolith is a former member of the Salt Lake City-based experimental collective SubRosa, which disbanded in 2019. was formed by Anyone who’s been a fan of SubRosa’s violin-tinged heft has a lot to love about The Otolith’s sound, but this new band stands firm on its own.
“It’s really rare to find chemistry like that,” Sara said, explaining that when Subrosa split, many of the band members wanted to continue jamming together and preserve the special connection they had. “We knew we couldn’t live without making music for each other. Communication is mostly non-verbal. It’s a great gift.”
In 2020, The Otolith (completed by Kim Cordray on violin and vocals, Levi Hannah on guitar and vocals, Andy Patterson on drums and percussion, and Matt Brotherton on bass and vocals) is Blues Funeral Recordings’ Woman I’ve been asked to contribute to the Of Doom compilation. also included tracks by Deathbell, Frayle and Mlny Parsonz (Royal Thunder).
“It gave me a solid goal to write a song,” says Sarah. The result was the haunting track Bone Dust, the first song they wrote together as a band, which was later included on her debut album. “We are very conscious of the fact that comparisons are made. [with SubRosa]says Sarah. “And we understand that, and that’s fine, because we’ve spent years building it and working on it. We want to prove that we’re otoliths.” But we also recognize how lucky we are to stand on the shoulders of the work we do.”
On the making of The Otolith’s debut album leaf thresholdSarah explains, it was a completely collaborative approach.Any band member could bring a song to the table, and anyone could write the lyrics.
“What we ended up with was a group of songs about different things, and the process of creating each song could be completely different,” she says.
The album’s six tracks (all over nine minutes) take the listener on a journey of different sounds and themes.beating Wings of Andromeda Follow the journey of a sleepwalker as he travels through the nighttime countryside and encounters aliens. Ekpilotik It’s about the individual powers that every human being has that can be counteracted by modern distractions. mesmeric opener, song codais about the isolation and loneliness Sarah has felt since 2020.
“This kind of weird hypochondria settled on me,” Sarah explains. “I was so sad without my friends. There was nothing you could do to stop those relationships from falling apart.”
After the events of 2020, these are probably feelings that everyone can relate to. “All of us,” she says. “The whole planet. And to me, anything that can unite humans is good. I’m so sick of the divisions and boundaries between us.”
This message of unity is also evident on the track bone mealExtended from the original version of the album with the addition of Charlie Chaplin’s final special speech from the 1940 film dictatorThe film parodies Hitler, fascism, and the Nazis as World War II rages on, and more than 80 years after its release, its powerful monologue message still resonates. increase.
“Andy [Patterson] Chaplin masqueraded as a dictator named Adenoid Hinkel, but there was no leader hatred. “It fits very well with our worldview. He says he doesn’t want to be in power, he doesn’t want to be a dictator, he doesn’t want to control people. , only hate those who are not loved.” I think that’s a really good point. I love Charlie Chaplin because I think making people laugh is a sacred task. But he was also more than that. ”
Another theme that connects the song leaf threshold A driving force to keep moving and creating, even in difficult times, to find catharsis. Sarah refers to the Latin word “ad astra per aspera”.
“As you get older, you realize how limited your time is and when you don’t know how much time you have left for adventures like doing shows around the world, that creates a sense of urgency,” she said. I will explain. It means “Let’s make the most of this time…”. ”
Folium Limina released on Blues Funeral Recordings