“Big Grey Sun #1” C33

Living in the vicinity of the shadow of the goddess of synth-based electronica Julia Holter has to be a real beast of a geography to find one’s band mixed up in, but DEATH HAGS manages to hold their own Just Fuckin’ Fine; & “Big Grey Sun #1” is a remarkable document to prove it. 

Elephant-in-the-room addressed, DH has the dreamy beats, distant/relaxed/impeccable vocal delivery. They’ve got the stalwart synth soarings, the stock drum machine pitter-patter to consider and then quickly dismiss. They’ve got melody, shifting cadence, and fleeting counterpoints to keep the ears pricked and flexed at all times. Perhaps most importantly, there’s an underlying, brilliantly understated industrial note that peaks in/vanishes throughout this criminally too short album that really brings DH into an element all their own. I’ve found myself singing their songs while taking bathroom breaks and I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I’m fairly certain that, if you dig synth-pop, this release is noteworthy and well worth repeated listens, in a row, for a good fucking time.

—Jacob An Kittenplan