Brooklyn duo experiments in the dark
Like urban explorers, Brooklyn post-rock duo ERAAS haunt the gloomy husks of krautrock, darkwave, industrial and dreampop, finding pulsing life within them. Their dark and beat-driven self-titled debut draws on well-established subgenres, but feels utterly new: The immaculate production, full of audible space and teeming with intricate layers, is part of the reason, but most of it is due to the duo’s keen command of their style. The result is a clean draught of weird beauty.
The vocals are mostly blurred or submerged, but the rhythmic music itself gibbers and groans volubly, intimating all kinds of fearful and wonderful things. Each track combines the sensuous with the spiritual and the highbrow with the underground in some fresh way: Some tracks, like “Crescent,” toy with dissonance and subtle tonal tension, yet go silky across the ears. Others, like “At Heart,” ride quasi-house beats and post-punk bass lines while somehow evoking sepulchral stillness. It’s so varied that listening can feel like they’re scanning through netherworld radio stations. Ghastly drones resolve into haunted new-wave hooks. Horror-film score movements give way smoothly to tribal folktronica. And it’s all relentlessly pretty and surprising, beguiling expectations at every turn. The musical ideas are complex and abundant but never tedious, so it’s a visitation as satisfying as it is eerie.