Year in Pop: 2016

Sjimon Gompers

Proudly presenting some select highlights and standouts from this year's Week in Pop: 2016 features with our annual Year in Pop review edition; photograph by Sjimon Gompers.

Haste

Portland DIY icon Jasmine Wood of Haste; courtesy of the artist / Track & Field Records.

Portland DIY icon Jasmine Wood of Haste; courtesy of the artist / Track & Field Records.

Get to know Portland, Oregon’s Jasmine Wood of Haste whose album Annabelle is available now through the impressive imprint Track & Field Records. Recorded last winter in St. John’s in an ancient house, Wood was able to focus on the connection betwen sparse vocals & the effects of excessive dissonance & lavish distortion. We bring you the following listen that you leads you through the more sacred realms of DIY sectors from the northwest that are lesser championed & sung (until now).

“Observatory” provides glimmers of perceptions that are sung in marching progressions while walls of guitar decay constantly build as quick as they crumble before your ears. Jasmine sharpens the Haste scope to make the maximum impact with an economy of reverberations where every note echoes in a way that transcends sound itself to a physiological effect.

The tile track “Annabelle” operates on that similar approach where Jasmine & company hang on to each & every pain-staking note. No movement or moment is left un-felt where Wood sends out vocals like doves being propelled by the breeze of an orchestra of treated guitars. Pedal spun bliss with finely pointed arrangements sets the tone for some of the most beautiful music made in one of the years in recent memory. Jasmine & Haste have arrived with a work to save our sad bastard souls with something that we can believe in & dream in the wishes that we can all bask in a better tomorrow.

Haste’s Jasmine Wood penned an exclusive & reflective foreword about the making of Anabelle, featuring words on the recording process from last winter in St. John:

After my EP came out, I felt like I was finally letting go of something so I could start focusing on where I was at the time. Once I discovered this perfect, distorted sound on my Marshall amp, I became obsessed and only wanted to evolve the noise I was making. I wanted the album to focus on that sound. I literally wanted to swim in a sea of distortion and joked about dying in it all the time. We started recording “Annabelle” live in December, at Thomas’ house. Kaleb had his drums set-up in a separate room than us and we recorded that way for the first couple of sessions. The room we recorded in was completely white with intense, fictional, cult-ish symbols all over the walls. The Fur Coats had filmed a video in that room earlier in the week and it stayed this way for almost the entire time that we recorded. Thomas engineered the entire process. We did more in the basement soon after, which was uncomfortable for the most part and cold enough to the point that we took breaks to go upstairs and avoid hypothermia. It all came together really well though. Later in the spring, Devin Welch filled in on bass for a while after Thomas went on tour. I really loved what Devin came up with when we played “Annabelle” live and I decided to re-record that track with his bass line when Thomas came back from tour. This was our final session in the basement.

As the album is finally being released, it is hard to believe that it’s truly a thing. Recording and mixing is such grueling work, however stimulating and fun it may be, it is real work and it’s very tiring. It’s sometimes very frustrating work, but in the end it’s the most rewarding to me. Some of the best moments I ever had with this project was recording with Thomas and Kaleb. It was a huge bonding experience for us. They were both great to have in the band during that time and helped push the project forward.

It feels good to be done. Looking forward to the next project that keeps me up at night with anxiety is really exciting. The anxiety makes me assess every aspect of every detail, in an excruciatingly horrible way, but motivates me to work hard every day until it is “complete”. The brief, 10 minute feeling afterwards is the best feeling in the world and makes the 12 months leading up to it completely worth every existential crisis. I’m excited to let go of this record and share it with the world.

Haste’s album Annabelle is available now via Track & Field Records.

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