A JAUNTY HAUNT
The popular adjectives to describe +2dB, if checked for synonyms in the thesaurus, are any words that come close to ‘dark’, but Jo Ann and Jeannie aren’t broody ‘80s new wave goths. While their lyrics conjure the same imagery (“Swallowed up in smoke, now’s the call to go, what is left are ghosts,” on ‘Islands’), musically they’re a post-millennium product coming from the same technological-cultural shift that gave birth to beat-inspired acts like Purity Ring and Baths. And as their + EP proves, the new goths aren’t the arrhythmia-suffering stereotypes of South Park’s Goth Kids. Here, the brooding is backed by production informed by electronic genres.
This isn’t to say + is that danceable, it does however oscillate between the witch house-inspired siren calls and pitched down vocals of ‘Intro (Totem)’ and ‘Outro’, and jaunty collaborative efforts like ‘Surrender (feat. Like Silver)’ and bonus track ‘Totem (feat. Darren Ashley)’. Despite that, this isn’t a schizophrenic record, both iterations of the duo’s sound are congruent to each other – there’s seemingly a narrative structure to the emotional virility of the six-track EP (ignoring the bonus tracks).
Every word sung by Jeannie, breathily, lingers with intent, even when sung by Pastel Lite’s Eff (EP highlight ‘New Heights’). You might find yourself moving to ‘Fall’ but just like the realisation of Purity Ring’s body horror, by the time +2dB’s suicidal romanticising gets to you, it’s already imbibed into your psyche. So in rounds we’ll dance ’til we fall to the ground, our bodies sprawled.
LISTEN TO: ‘Fall’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Purity Ring
RATING: 3 ½