Photo by The Native Sound
Planning For Burial's Thom Wasluck is permanently bummed. Sadness permeates everything he does; he works alone, in shades of gray, with disappointment etched upon his face. Even when he lets loose with a raw-throated howl or bashes a microphone against his forehead, he's channeling despair, not rage. Wasluck suffers, but thankfully, it's mostly for art—and his project Planning For Burial wouldn't be half as compelling if the misery it radiates didn't feel so honest.
His music is unfaithful to genre, sidling between doom, post-rock, goth, black metal, drone, shoegaze, and whatever else Wasluck feels like including; such is the luxury of a one-man band, or in this case, a bedroom recording project that found itself unexpectedly plucked from the fringes, splashed across Pitchfork, and deposited on stages with Chelsea Wolfe and Deafheaven. Wasluck's ghostly dirges beckon us closer, and his sparse, nakedly blunt lyrics cut to the bone. No one throws on a song like "Wearing Sadness and Regret Upon Our Faces" or "She Won't Always Miss You" at a party—unless their girlfriend just left them in front of a crowd of all their friends and they just want to be alone.
He's about to release a new split with Mother Room via The Native Sound, and we're suitably devastated to premiere his side of it right here on Noisey. "When We Were Ghosts" plods along methodically, its minimalist doom thud and muffled, quavery vocalizations bringing to mind a stripped-down Electric Wizard more than anything else—it must seem bizarre to compare eldritch Dorset doom to gothy New Jersey gloom, but seriously, listen to this song and tell me you don't hear it (and grab the split with Mother Room here while you're at it.)
Kim Kelly is a fan of misery and New Jersey; she's on Twitter: @grimkim