All dolled up for a dance party in the Third Ring of Hell and want to pregame with some psycho-existential-dredge ballads straight out of your nightmares? Look no further than the new avant-garde offering, Filler Guise, from NYC royalty Itch Princess.
Katelyn Farstad, the Itch Princess herself, marks this album as her fifth, fully-charged LP. In a bold exhibition of individualism, Farstad stands as the singular creative force behind every note and nuance of her latest album. Yet, she graciously opened her auditory canvas to a vibrant array of guest artists. Among them, the deft fingers of guitarist Nate Johnson, the electronic musings of Teeny Lieberson and Jake Lichter on synthesizers, the deep, resonant hum of Cole Pulice’s bass clarinet, and the impassioned blasts of Alex Liebman’s saxophone.
One might say that the echo of Itch Princess’s artistry parallels that of Meredith Monk, yet imagined through the fervent screams of a youthful Lydia Lunch reverberating through the ghostly chambers of a forsaken factory. Tracks such as “Diner” wander into shimmering realms of neo-jazz, less tumultuous than their counterparts. However, it’s the brazenly avant-garde “Held” that stakes its claim as the potential anthem for one’s most disconcerting moments of disarray.
Farstad’s guitar weaves a curious blend of the bright and the ominous. While the melodies might dare to be upbeat, there’s always a discord waiting in the wings. The bass pushes forward with verve, contrasting sharply with the unrelenting drums. And those devilish guitar notes? They flirt shamelessly with Numan-inspired synths scattered across the tracks.
This album is Farstad’s reckoning with mortality, an adieu to a life once thought immutable. It’s a call to embrace the raw present, devoid of the trite comparisons that artists so often fall victim to.
Although a challenge to listen to in one go, ‘Filler Guise‘ stands apart, haughty and proud. From biting guitar notes to vocals that seem to drift from another world, the album surprises. There are moments of chaos, moments of serenity, but every track burns with passion.
Filler Guise is out now out on LA’s Already Dead Tapes, pushing the boundaries of Farstad’s psycho-spiritual internal sonic world. Copies are currently available from the label.
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