My bias here is huge since I originally released Matchess’ debut Seraphastra on cassette in early 2013 (and it remains one of my favorite tapes we ever put out). Trouble In Mind have done the great deed of reissuing the album on vinyl and it’s never sounded (or looked better). Here’s my original write-up:
Matchess came out of nowhere to blew the doors off my skull late last year and I still can’t get enough. This is the solo work of Whitney Johnson (she also plays in the excellent Verma and Disappears’ sideproject, E+), Chicago resident and general sorceress. With Seraphastra, there’s no going back. On the surface, it seems simple enough, but there’s so much depth to her compositions and bass-heavy riffage that there’s always new layers to unearth.
Johnson’s voice is like a hammer that won’t stop. Over the top of a bed of minimal rhythms, synthetic melodies, and guitar squalls, her vocals spin out of control like an ancient spiral circling toward the cosmos. I imagine some future civilization unearthing her music in 1000 years and holding it as a sacred relic. Seraphastra is timeless, bizarre, and absolutely wonderful.
Go hop on that train. Buy it NOW.