Steve & Samantha is self-releasing album Keep Us Close Together In Hell on on December 23, with preview track ‘Painkiller’ premiering on AQNB today. The London-based band, consisting artists Ulijona Odišarija and James Lowne, shared their ‘Wish Stack’ mix with AQNB about this time last year, featuring a selection of roughshod smartphone recordings that reached into the crumbling core of messy feelings.
This record is a more complete, though equally DIY effort, where the improvised and experimental material was recorded during a Summer residency in Lithuania. Taking cues from pop, grunge and shoe gaze, the music draws comparisons to the lo-fi and anti-folk of the likes of Beat Happening and The Moldy Peaches. Awkward, stripped-back rhythms and guileless organs meet the vulnerable and painfully deadpan lyrics of songs like ‘Break Up Song’, ‘Emptiness’ and ‘Nevermind’. Meanwhile, ‘Painkiller’ hiccups through an emotionally unstable assemblage of clattering, repetitious guitar and Odišarija’s stoic and breathy mumblings.**