01 Aug 2021 - Thorsten
Experimental Shoegaze | Release date: 25 Jun 2021
Normally we do not review releases with only two songs and roughly eight minutes here at VoS – but this release by healthyliving is something special and if you give it a listen, you might be as enraptured by it as us. Three great musicians giving us two songs to keep us on our heels wishing for more.
A year ago, I had the first encounter with Amaya López-Carromero when reviewing her last full length Orphnē under the stage moniker Maud the Moth. Her voice and songwriting placed her somewhere between Joanna Newsom and Anneke van Giersbergen. So naturally I had to give the healthyliving EP until / below a spin when I heard about it.
The music is not in any way related to Maud the Moth and Amaya’s voice is the only connection between both projects but healthyliving might be even more appealing to me because of the diverse music. It’s shoegaze and also folk, it’s drone but somehow metal, too. It’s eclecticism is maybe the most impressive when talking about this new transnational trio. Amaya is based in Scotland, but drummer Stefan Pötzsch and Scott McLean, who plays guitars and bass, both are living in Germany, so the writing process was a bit difficult but played out really well.
One might imagine the record somewhere between Messa and Big Brave as it is somewhat gloomy and yet very powerful with opening track ”until” showing the more driven side with its strong post-metallic drums kicking in right away and the riffs slowing taking the foot off the pedal a bit. Second track ”below” sounds more like a lament encapsulated by an early Doom metal band with some droney riffs soundscaping the background in the middle of the track but never really erupting as a whole. Both tracks seem to be destined to show both sides of the band – one definitely much more aggressive and the second one rather shy and introspective. Both sides are delivered very well and even though the tracks are very different, there is still some flow between both, as the well-placed guitar reverb and some really nice synths are connection points between the two.
However, the most important thing has to come at the end of this review: the trio is currently working on their debut full-length! Talking about having someone on his heels, ravishing for more.