Tabs Out | claire rousay and more eaze – Never Stop Texting Me

claire rousay and more eaze – Never Stop Texting Me

2.8.22 by Matty McPherson

In 2019, Full Spectrum Records released Infinite Futures, a mongo two tape compilation that acted less as an excursion of how far the label had come and more of a forward thinking look at where sonically everyone on the compilation was headed. It only takes about ten minutes before you end up at the claire rousay / more eaze piece that acts as a nifty summation of where the two were sonically in 2019 (spoilers: it’s neato ambient). It’s tempting to state that it feels archaic compared to where they are now; after all, the women move swiftly enough to have opened the year with a guitar pop ditty that could have been set for a 7” on Run for Cover. Yet, returning to that FS Piece, I’m surprised by how much it still parallels their current present moment. The synths are still a dead-ringer, just as much as the plethora of noises; although perhaps most notably is that the track really entrances listeners by its own being as a liminal, momentary piece of sound that just sucks you in! This is a fancy way of saying that it is a conversation first and foremost.

2020 saw the two’s collaborations continually teasing an ASMR-tinged, emo-frizzle fried notion of “pop music”, perhaps most explicitly set forth on “kyle.” That track does appear (in basically the same form) on their C30 Orange Milk level, album level statement, Never Stop Texting Me. Visually it’s on brand (and another good leap for Seth Graham’s current graphic design emphasizing beastly, omnibus cryptid critters). Sonically… it’s thirty minutes of major key synths, bubbly bass beats, ambient dirges, and beguiling collaborations. More or less, this is their tweets, amongst other digital ephemera being beamed into a consensus online sound of this moment. Somehow through it all, it is rather face-to-face; able to both kiss off with flair while bringing in a lyrical camaraderie and sincerity that references each other, their pets, their woes, the day that comes after Bandcamp Friday Eve. Naturally, that translates to a most personalized sonic listen that couldn’t be less afraid by the prospect of having a conversation with its listener first and foremost.

Perhaps that comes from the fact that both took a “where I end and you begin” MO to the formation of tracks. Both claire and mari have their own wheelhouse of points that one can sketch out and the other can seamlessly fill in; it’s not so much that there are sudden left turns as much as the two genuinely have a musical level of chemistry that even all the Mario Baseball characters are jealous of. For Never Stop Texting, auto-tune vocal fries (harmonizing!) & bright, symphonic synths (with zany effects for days) dominate the foreground of this sound first and foremost. Paired with a reverent level of lived-in pop-punk recollections catching those sketches, it colors them into actual pop songs. Yet, it’s not all a pop-punk album using the chorus breaks for soaring epiphanies. Afterall, there are still tracks like “camille” or “missed” that linger in abstract spaces, reveling in the found sonic crevices of a conversation of what’s going on one room over. 

Naturally though, the preservation of that open-ended, sauntering conversation within a Pop level statement makes for such a noteworthy, unique Orange Milk catalog release. The label has released comparable sonic titles akin to this, like Recovery Girl’s 2020 tape. Yet even while there are parallels, both are ultimately delineated by different sonic and metaphysical MOs that reveal themselves to different listeners. I see 2010s club and PC music as a prime directive of the kick-punch fury of Recovery Girl; whereas with never stop texting me, I see a timeline from which deep listening strategies AND P.O.D.’s Youth of the Nation and Puddle of Mudd’s Blurry (amongst the Billboard Modern Rock no.1’s of 2000-2007) might just be considered sacred texts. Chisel away at the latter hard enough until they shine (not whine) while bringing in the latest in laptop music innovation, and never stop texting me might just be a prodigal renovation and re-calibration of what once may have seemed a stylistic void state into a crystalline summation of the present. Conversations like this album leave you waiting for the next buzz.

Cassette Available at the Orange Milk Bandcamp Page