Tag Archives: Doom

Planning for Burial: The Intimacy of Loneliness

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Thom Wasluck, who makes music as Planning For Burial, is an intensely private person—so much so that on his debut, Leaving, only instruments were listed in the album credits, not names. I didn’t know who he was until a year after I discovered him; at one point, I assumed they were an actual, multi-member band. This solitariness bleeds into the music as well; Wasluck’s songs explore how intimate loneliness can be. He combines doom, slowcore, drone, and goth-pop and uses it to soundtrack meditations on past loves slipping into mist, and watching days become weeks while bedridden with regret. It’s as if Phil Elverum traveled with Sleep’s rig.

After living in Matawan, New Jersey, for just under a decade, Wasluck moved back to his childhood home in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 2014, to pursue an apprenticeship in the International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators Union. Below The House, his third and latest full-length, was recorded in this home. There’s more accessible material on here than his previous work, such as the heavy, Cure-esque “Warmth of You” and the crushing expansiveness of “Somewhere in the Evening.” It feels enclosed and intimate, and even when it drifts into serene drone or tracks colored by somber piano, it never has the spacey quality that the quieter moments on previous albums did. That’s because Wasluck didn’t have much room to move: he felt more isolated when he returned home, and took refuge in whiskey—a lot of it.

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Adrienne Davies: Earth’s Core

Adrienne Davies
Adrienne Davies, from Earth. Photo by Samantha Muljat.

On a sticky, sun-drenched early evening in late July, Adrienne Davies is scrunched down low behind her hybrid Ludwig/Gretch drum kit, smiling, weaving her arms and legs in an intricate pattern. As she slams on the snare—which she does so infrequently it almost seems like she’s deliberately avoiding it—her eyes widen. She moves so slowly that it looks like she’s performing underwater aerobics.

She’s on stage at the Mohawk in Austin where her band, Earth, is opening for their good friends Boris on a U.S. tour commemorating the deluxe reissue of 2006’s Pink. Aside from being unspeakably hot, the show is also going to be loud, long, and slow.

At one point mid-set, the heat causes a local doom-bro to collapse on the concrete, as if gravity and Davies’ thudding bass drum are psychically commanding him to find cooler ground. As the venue’s staff drag him safely to the wings, the trio on stage is still locked in a hypnotic trance. They carry on, playing “Ouroboros is Broken,” a beautifully demented eight-minute dirge. Davies either doesn’t notice the fallen soldier, or is so locked in to the song’s heaving forward motion that she can’t break off, keeps the momentum going. She’s in control.

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