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City: London
Country: UK
Genre: Rock
Styles: Slowcore, Post-Rock, Indie Rock, Emo
on since September 22, 2021

Selected Reviews and Comments

“The mission statement was to be super minimal,” says deathcrash singer Tiernan Banks. “Just simple and beautiful guitar parts and to be really bare. To be….less.” 

Swiftly following up after their critically acclaimed 2022 album, Return, the band initially had no plans to make a full length. “The last thing we felt like doing was making another album,” says bassist Patrick Fitzgerald. “It was like, ‘let's do this little EP that's aesthetically quite different and pared down’.” 

Less was always planned to be a statement in reduction but it soon became apparent that the songs the band were writing were significant, personal and, despite the intentions to strip things back, sort of bigger. “As time went on, we started putting much more emotional weight into it and it became more important to us,” says Banks. 

Given their debut album was made in disparate conditions, spread out over a year via multiple recordings, the band knew that they wanted to make something “more complete and cohesive” as a group. Time spent on the road had solidified them as a four-piece and given them greater confidence about their own capabilities. While Return loudly and proudly paid homage to its influences, Less is more about the band growing into themselves and eschewing easy categorisation and labelling. “This isn't a post-rock album,” says Banks. “Early on we’d do a 15 minute song and use samples and get compared to Mogwai or Godspeed but I don’t know if you’d get that listening to this one. We became much more focused on the songwriting aspect rather than atmospheres. I think it’s more emo than our last album.” 

However, despite a shift away from this widescreen approach, the band ended up in a location where grand and enveloping landscapes were inescapable. “Even though we talked about this being less cinematic we did go to the end of the earth to record this,” laughs Fitzgerald, of decamping to the UK’s most remote recording studio in the Outer Hebrides. They worked with producer Ric James again, while longtime collaborator and artist Kaye Song also created all of the videos, photographs and design for the album on-site and in response to the environment. Guitarist Matthew Weinberger recalls it being “pretty intense being shut away where you can't really go anywhere. But it had this sense of: this is it. We're giving it everything. This is our focus. We're zoning in.” 

The result is a record that is as powerful and potent as it is tender and introspective, with arrangements that manage to feel refined yet detailed and with a deep emotional resonance at the core of the record. Banks’ voice shifts from hushed whispers to guttural screams, one minute tapping into the kind of fragile beauty that artists like Elliott Smith managed so well, on tracks such as ‘Duffy’s’ before unleashing a doom metal growl in thundering unison with the band on ‘Empty Heavy’. 

In the same versatile fashion, the band glides from delicate and skeletal arrangements that emphasise reflective pauses and pondering silences, to moments of fierce and punchy dynamism. “It was raw,” says Weinberger of the experience. “Because the sound is cleaner, clearer and exposed, there's a vulnerability there because we just put it all out there on the record” 

The record is even more all out there because it is also a depiction of a period of change for the band, who have experienced personal issues that have altered life significantly. “When you've been so invested in one way of living and you have to reimagine your world after that, that's a very confusing and complicated time,” Banks says. “It forces you to re-evaluate aspects of yourself and people around you and how to feel in moments of big change and separation.” 

However, despite feelings of pain, sadness, change, loss, grief and separation underpinning much of the record, it’s ultimately one rooted in unity and growth - in terms of the band becoming an ever-increasingly tight force and evolving to cement an even more distinct, unique and innovative sound. “We're just playing for the four of us,” says Weinberger. “There's something so crazily indescribable about being locked in with the band and when everybody nails it. It's epic.” 

Or as Fitzgerald says, when you navigate a period of loss, and musically reflect that via explorations of doing less, then often something is gained along the way. “Losing something or letting go of a weight makes you lighter,” he says. “You become less, but there is finally space for more.”


1. Pirouette
2. Empty Heavy
3. Duffy’s
4. And Now I Am Lit
5. Distance Song
6. Turn
7. Dead, Crashed

[Triple Denim PR]

Less was recorded on the island of Great Bernera in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, during September 2022.

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