THUS LOVE – ” Memorial ” Album Of The Week

Posted: October 7, 2022 in MUSIC

Having already garnered comparisons to everyone from labelmates DIIV to Bauhaus, Thus Love work in a lineage of post-punk artists that have come before; from the jangly haze of opener “Repetitioner” to the galloping groove of “Family Man,” their debut “Memorial” is an album that plays into the sharp, abrasive turns characteristic of the genre. The latter track, in particular, pairs the push-and-pull tension that great post-punk can execute with impressionistic observation that feels snide in its incisiveness “Tuesday night happy-hour / Gasoline tearing down from the graze, they scour / Loose tin, melt down, make a mess reducing / All your day’s work to a single paragraph, repeating” before the tension finally bubbles over into a final singalong refrain: “It’s alright,” guitarist/vocalist Echo Mars sneers as the music halts for her to deliver the final shot to the song’s subject, “I’m coming in closer.” 

The Brattleboro, Vermont trio Thus Love stand together, a bond cemented by their experience as outsiders looking in. For Thus Love, DIY is an ethos that reflects not only their musical vision but their very existence as three self-identifying trans artists. From the band’s inception, Echo Mars (she/her) , Lu Racine (he/him) and Nathaniel van Osdol (they/them) have lived together under the same roof, designed and produced their own merch, and created their own recording studio from scratch.

The band was just starting to regularly headline renowned local venue The Stone Church when everything came to a screeching halt. Rather than idly wait, the band decided to take their future in their own hands. Armed with nothing but YouTube videos and her innate curiosity, Mars constructed a makeshift studio in their apartment, recording during odd hours when their next-door neighbours were out and about. Their resulting debut, “Memorial”, is a stunningly accomplished album.

The hallmarks will be unmistakable to anyone who has ever obsessed over classic LPs from indie and post-punk’s progenitors—everything from the chiming, Marr -esque guitars on opener “ Repitioner ” to the pugnacious rhythmic punch on lead single “In Tandem”. But even more impressive and exciting is how Thus Love manage to tap into this celebrated lineage to find their own unique voice and tell their own story. Ultimately, despite the many difficulties and setbacks, the story of Thus Love and “Memorial” is one of triumph. Of seeking meaning in struggle. Of embracing community and love. Of finding joy in rebirth.

For fans of Dry Cleaning, Bambara, Ought, Television, The Church, Echo and the Bunnymen.

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