Posts Tagged ‘Singer Monica Salazar’

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Courtship Ritual’s sound is intimate and stripped-down and insinuating, to the point where I think the most obvious reference point is the xx. But even if the band is working from similar elements — electronic beats, hushed vocals, warmly dubby basslines  they’re deploying those elements differently. Singer Monica Salazar has a little bit of acid in her voice, a clipped full-throated alto with just a hint of sneer to it. She never whispers or sighs, and she always sounds tough. The lyrics haven’t left a deep impression on me yet, but they’re elusive and evocative; the first one that comes to mind is “you’re a handsome beast just like your mother.” I don’t know whether Salazar or her bandmate Jared Olmsted is responsible for the band’s basslines, but those basslines have some real muscle to them. Pith was available as a limited-edition cassette before it was a readily available download, but it’s the rare album from the cassette underground that I’d describe as being accessible and pleasant. You could use these songs to sell cars, and you could pipe them into a clothing boutique without disturbing the atmosphere. But even at their calmest and lightest, there’s a fundamental intensity to these songs, and that’s a big part of the reasons they stand