HAZEL is the debut for Twin Cities-based solo project Subtle Beast. Starting off with the woozy “Slumber Party”, there’s a strong essence of the doleful overtones that dominate the EP. A chilly power riff steers the track into eerie territories as paled vocals sing self-deprecating lines like “I like to rue me” and “I like to ruin me”.
Constrained to a guitar and bass drums, HAZEL is minimal throughout evoking the early sounds of noise pop like JAMC or even early signees of Slumberland Records. With a hypnotic groove, “Vital” oozes reverb via a droopy melody and those sure-footed drum patterns. At 7-minutes long, the closer eclipses the total length of those that precede it. Breaking away from the guitar-bass drum pairing, the track shifts from it’s groggy stupor to an amorphous coda.
For the most part, HAZEL doesn’t have any grandiose moments, but in that lies its strength, a minimal record that is deeply satisfying.
Cereal Pairing: Post Cinnamon Hazelnut