End of Softness is a more intense record than her predecessor – much more dense, often resorting to contrasts. It is an intriguing musical narrative, filled with conflicting juxtapositions, yet evocatively weaved by both experienced artists.
The arrival of Amirtha Kidambi and Lea Bertucci’s End of Softness EP finds us in a vastly different world, a mere six months after the release of their debut Phase Eclipse (2019). Working remotely in isolation, Bertucci and Kidambi engaged in a process of creative editing, lifting fragments from the Phase Eclipse sessions and a live performance, to re-contextualize the music amidst a pandemic. The crisis lends a new expression of agony to the torrential caterwauls of Kidambi’s voice, passed through Bertucci’s unforgiving God-play at the tape machine. With the blunt concision and brevity of punk songs, the tracks imply a sonic riot, instilling a subconscious urge to break the windows of your nearest financial institution. Opening with soft cooing, “Siren Call” evokes the eerie soundscape of a vacant city, escalating into the incendiary “False Profits”, where Bertucci wrenches Kidambi’s tortured vocals into a mass of sound, replicating our constant media onslaught. The End of Softness could be the end of a false sense of comfort, security and stability, but its looping structures remind us of forces of creation and destruction in natural cycles. While we mourn our losses, it is also a suspended moment in time to reflect, reimagine and renew. Concluding with the circular rise-and-fall of Kidambi’s melodic breath, “Destroying Angel” signals the End of Softness, but perhaps the beginning of something more durable, sustainable and humane.
End of Softness EP is out June 5th, 2020 in an edition of 250 cassettes and digital download.
PLEASE NOTE: The digital album will be released on the no-fee Bandcamp day June 5th, and the physical cassette tape will ship within 2-3 weeks due to Coronavirus related pressing delays.
ALSO PLEASE NOTE: There is a bonus track "Epilogue" that will ONLY BE AVAILABLE digitally if you purchase the album via Bandcamp on JUNE 5TH, the track will be taken down after that.
supported by 161 fans who also own “End of Softness”
So happy to see a new album from this band. I've long been a fan of Mazurek and Parker's work in Tortoise, on top of the CUQ... Anyhow, if you're curious about contemporary jazz, this is a terrific place to start.