Taking their name from a mid-century avant-garde photography movement, Fotoform describe themselves as “pointy shoegaze” and you can certainly hear the sharp elbows with the glorious whirlpool of sinister sounds on ‘Running‘ lifted from their new album Horizons.
Metallic riffs and rubbery bass lines cascade over a menacing rhythm section that brood, then its released into the tight interplay of shimmering guitars and drum strikes, that is redolent of later period The Cure or early Interpol in the second half of the song. Vocalist Kim House’s ethereal double tracked harmonies spiral, investing this song with a wistfulness that looks inside herself and urges herself to follow her heart, with shades of Slowdive and Cocteau Twins.
‘Running‘ was written in “the midst of a period of significant change and reflection,” says Kim House. “I had just left my role as Footwear Design Director at Nordstrom. It was a whirlwind of a job I held for many years – one which required lots of travel in the US and Europe, intense long hours, and barely enough room for other passions or pursuits. It was rewarding, but almost all encompassing.”
“At its core Running is about peeling back the layers to connect with your innermost self,” she continues. “Summoning the courage, patience and stillness to distill it down and uncover what truly matters, to listen to our hearts and tap into the subconscious. It’s about facing fears and insecurities and having the courage to go after what will truly make you happy (or “make your heart happy” as my dad would say), which oftentimes might be in the opposite direction of what we’re running toward, whether in relationships, life paths and choices, etc.”
Seattle’s Fotoform are longtime music collaborators (and married couple) Kim House (bass, vocals, synths) and Geoffrey Cox (guitar) are now joined by former Death Cab for Cutie / Long Winters drummer Michael Schorr. The band takes an ambitious leap forward on Horizons. With recording sessions bookending the lockdown, Horizons pivots from the wall of guitars on their self-titled debut to a more nuanced and cinematic follow-up, adding synths and layers of guitars, while drawing on the textures of shoegaze and dream pop with the drive of post-punk.
Kim House and Geoffrey Cox founded the dark, goth-adjacent dream pop of C’est la Mort shortly after they married, and released one album on their own Dismal Nitch label, as well as various compilation tracks (including a limited split 7” with Stars for American Laundromat’s Please Please Please tribute to The Smiths). After various lineup changes, the band reemerged as Fotoform in late 2016, with Michael Schorr joining in 2019. They released their self-titled debut in 2017 and followed it up with the Peel-Sessions-like immediacy of their Part-Time Punks EP in 2018. Recording for Horizons began right before the 2020 lockdown with Evan Foster (Boss Martians, The Sonics, Dirty Sidewalks) and resumed a year later with Foster and Matt Bayles (Minus the Bear, Mastodon, Pearl Jam) recording the drums.