Served stark with a frosted tint, Unalaska’s “Air Transylvania” video features clips of coastal highways, snowcapped mountains, aerial views of clouds, and airplane wings soaring through a pink horizon. Footage was shot with iPhones during various vagabonding, authentically portraying a hauntingly beautiful, natural world.
Black and white contrast sharply capture the detailed facial expressions on these four lovely ladies. Devereaux’s “List It” is cheeky, brazen, and smart; it’s more of a photo shoot with the girl next door than an ostentatious video.
Even if you have witnessed horse masks, raining 500 mg capsules, and a series of neon geometric shapes that are like a bad trip from the ‘80s, you haven’t witnessed it like this. And if a video like that sounds too eccentric for your liking, just know I watched a full minute of a YouTube boiler room set with Total Unicorn’s “Mini Knee” accidentally playing over it, and thought it this was the dopest boiler set I’d ever heard. Alas, it was “Mini Knee” two tabs over.–Rachel Haney
The album art on Unalaska’s self-titled debut EP says it all — purple gradient waves appear as eggplant-colored tides, layered shorelines, mountaintops even. It captures the mellow fluidity of the four tracks on Unalaska: the EP’s abstracted sway and occasionally gravelling soundscapes.
Stirring techno elements whirl on “Air Transylvania.” Ghostly english-accented vocals, hollow tinkling, and lush guitar lines mesh together for an ominous and sober first track. The repeated, taunting lyric, “It’s madness,” plays just as loud as the building, lonesome guitar line that leads the song out.
While “Air Transylvania” evokes a futuristic feel, “Skeleton” has an initial air of nostalgia accompanying it via crunchy guitar riffs and echoed instrumentals. That nostalgia soon gives way to synth, heavy texturing, and charming vocals that make this track somewhat of a futuristic campfire song. I could nod along to this one in front of a bonfire on another planet, where we can look up and spot at least two moons.
That distance from planet earth continues onto “Salaryworld.” A rippling beat creates soft current under various, incoming channels of static-churned vocals. Powerful electric guitar lines make a sweet juxtaposition; this track packages both high and low frequencies. “Salaryworld” sounds like a jumbled mind, a collage of sounds, but yet, it’s repetitive in its chaos.
The last track on Unalaska is a desolate indie song titled “Fallows.” Just as–if not more– far-out as the rest, it sounds more like a howling wolf in moonlight than anything. Raw and emotive, “Fallows” is darkly choir-like. It has ghastly, Bane-inspired breathing, which adds to the overall solitude–a solitude that left me strangely at peace. “Fallows” is a thunderstorm of a song.
In fact, all of Unalaska can be compared to a rainstorm; it’s an obscure, drizzling, cerulean-tinted rainy season of an EP. And if you’re not outside with your mouth open wide, you’re missing out on some quality weird music. —Rachel Haney
Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.