Initially known for his work drumming in Marriages, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Andrew Clinco founded founded Drab Majesty back in 2011 as a way to create music as a solo project, with him recording every instrument himself. Clinco created the androgynous character Deb Demure for himself. Alex Nicolaou, a.k.a. Mona D (keys, vocals) joined the project in 2016.
Since signing to Dais Records, the Los Angeles-based duo have released three albums, 2015’s Careless, 2017’s The Demonstration, 2019’s Modern Mirror, which saw the project combining androgynous aesthetics and commanding vocals with futuristic and occult lyrics, to create a style and sound that the band’s Demure refers to as “tragic wave.”
Released late last month through Dais Records and clocking in at 32 minutes, the duo’s latest release An Object in Motion sits somewhere between an EP and mini-album while also marking a new chapter in the project’s story: Written during a 2021 retreat to the remote costal Oregon town of Yachats, the band’s Deb Demure leaned into the neo-psychedelic resonance of a uniquely bowl-shaped 12-string Ovation acoustic/electric guitar.
After early morning hikes in the rain, Demure would record ambient guitar experiments the rest of the day, tapping into “flow states,” in which he would let the sound lead the way. Those sessions were then refined or recreated and then later elevated with contributions from Slowdive‘s Rachel Goswell, Beck’s, M83‘s and Air’s Justin Meldal-Johnsen, and Uniform’s Ben Greenberg. Fittingly, the EP reportedly holds true to its title, as it captures Demure and Drab Majesty in a transitional state, and evolving while showcasing a series of potential futures from the project.
In the lead-up to the EP’s release, I wrote about two of its singles:
- The effort’s first single, “Vanity,” featuring Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell. Built around shimmering, reverb-drenched, 12 string guitar and gated reverb-soaked drum patterns. Demure’s plaintive yet commanding baritone is paired with Goswell’s imitable and expressive vocal, which seamlessly intertwine in an uncannily gorgeous, swooning harmony. To my ears, “Vanity” seemed like a synthesis of Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne‘s “Close My Eyes Forever,” Sisters of Mercy, Disintegration-era The Cure and Goswell’s work with Slowdive — or in other words, something that will warm the cold hearts of any goth.
- “The Skin and The Glove,” a lush, Smiths-meets-Slowdive/RIDE-like song built around reverb-soaked, shimmering 12 string guitar, a driving groove paired with the Los Angeles-based duo’s uncannily unerring knack for gorgeous harmonies and catchy hooks. But under the lush soundscapes is a song that thematically touches upon the endless march of time, and our inevitable mortality.
Clocking in at a little over 15 minutes, An Object in Motion‘s closing track, the expansive “Yield To Force” is built around glistening, cynical strings, ominous slide guitar and shimmering synthesizer. The result is a composition that’s intuitive yet meditative with the instrumentation that spirals, sways, crests and ebbs like waves crashing into the shore.