The music created as Entrail—the solo project of Eugene, OR loop wizard Devin River—is weird, unearthly, and beautiful, which are my three favorite musical descriptors. It's also terribly difficult to describe, which, in a perverse way, only adds to its charms. River is a master of manipulation, whether we're talking voice, synths, strings, or any of the other myriad sounds they seemingly magick out of thin air during the course of 100 Years Remaining, the project's debut recording. At times, it sounds like murmuring drone, crackling and snapping; at others, a neoclassical suite, tracked by end-time melodies and River's elastic, enigmatic vocals. Despite the inorganic method of its creation, the project's inherent darkness and proud fragility come from a very personal place.
"I began doing Entrail in the summer of 2014, after having several other bands and projects fall apart due to personality conflicts and people moving away," River explained to Noisey. "I wanted something that was mine, something indivisible, with the sole focus of sharing what creative energy I have with those around me. My first show was in August that year, opening for Disemballerina, of whom I had been a fan for several years. The following February, I recorded my songs in my practice room with a Tascam field recorder, and released Ursula in March 2015.
The name refers to how, when I perform, it feels as though I am offering a piece of my guts to whoever is listening. The connection I feel with audiences is thrilling at times for me. I love the feeling of filling a room with sound and the feedback of having people be affected by it. Because of this, Entrail will always be first and foremost a performance-based project, and I definitely look forward to touring more in the near future. At the tape release show, someone came up to me after my set and said, with a calm kind of smile, that my music made him feel sick and like he wanted to cry. Hearing how my creations affect people emotionally is the greatest compliment I could receive."
Close your eyes and listen to 100 Years Remaining below—it's now available from Flossless Audio.
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Photo by Gracie Persson.
Update: This article has been amended throughout to properly reflect a subject’s name.