Brian Borcherdt has been keeping busy the past few years, excavating sound as one half of electronic noise maestros Holy Fuck. After putting out the duo's Bird Brains live EP last year, Borcherdt is making a welcome return to decidedly less noisy, but equally expansive solo project, Dusted.
Today Noisey is pleased to premiere the track "Dead Eyes," off of Dusted's upcoming sophomore release Blackout Summer, which drops April 6 via Polyvinyl. The album plays like the flip side and comedown to Borcherdt's work with Holy Fuck, a stirring, cerebral counterpart to the latter's visceral grit—more gentle, but just as inventive. Both catch you off guard, and leave you feeling a little buzzed.
In that vein, "Dead Eyes" starts off mellow, with a sleepy, driving melody that quickly cracks open the indie conventions that invite you in. Hazy falsettos and warm guitar scribbles spill forth, as Borcherdt's sighed phrasing rises to meet harmonies from his wife and collaborator Anna Edwards-Borcherdt. It all leaves you enveloped in some kind of ineffable sensation, greater than the sum of its parts.
Here's what Borcherdt tells Noisey about the song:
"Dead Eyes" was recorded in Robbie Lackritz's coachhouse in Toronto. Anna and I playing live, we both sang and played guitar. The drum machine we used on this one is some kind of 80's Yamaha that has about 100 beats and every single one is terrible. Still I've managed to put a handful of them to work -- for Dusted and for Holy Fuck. The trick is to get them running through other peddles and droning with mixer feedback. Then they can be unique and at least interesting sounding -- maybe terrible yet interesting? Loel Campbell added drums the following day.
The song is about being denied something so long that you turn around and deny someone the exact same thing. A 'see how it feels' kind of reversal of power. But also a cautionary tale of how to not make the same mistakes. It was written five or six years ago, so not really about anything specific in our current culture. Just some omnipresent mood—smash the status quo.
Listen to the premiere of Dusted's "Dead Eyes" below.
Andrea Domanick is Noisey's West Coast editor. Follow her on Twitter.