Last year, King Woman's Doubt EP had a profound impact on me, thanks to vocalist Kristina Esfandiari's throaty croon and candidness about the experiences that shaped her life as an artist. It was easy to sink down into the velvety embrace of the album's lush, brooding dark folk, and finding out that she had a whole other band, Miserable, felt like a gift.
Whereas King Woman goes for an earthier approach, Miserable floats along on an airy, almost celestial path; "shoegaze" is as good a description as any (especially given Esfandiari's status as Whirr's former vocalist), but this is no mere Loveless clone. The band's upcoming new album, Uncontrollable, is desperately sad, and blissfully lovely—and the juxtaposition is sometimes startling, especially on dreamy reveries like "Oven," whose breathy chorus wonders if the narrator should "stick my head in the oven."
As Esfandiari explains, “Oven' is about someone I was once so intimate with making me feel like they never cared. That can make you feel insane, and it causes you second guess everything you thought was real. It's about feeling extremely frustrated over miscommunication between you and someone you truly loved.”
Recording Uncontrollable itself wasn't exactly a picnic, either. "I was grieving the loss of my old life while I was writing this album. Working through some of these songs helped me get through the sadness that came with that loss," Esfandiari says. "This made it really hard to work on the album, and it took a long time to finish it. The album is about feeling like you have no control over your circumstances, no rein on your emotions – feeling graceless. I wrote it in this room that felt very haunted and sometimes I wouldn't sleep for days."
Uncontrollable is out April 29 via Native Sound (preorders are up now).