Housekeys-Exploded Views (Slowecho.Space)

Housekeys-Exploded Views (Slowecho.Space)

There are a handful of new musicians who have the power to take me away with each new release. Klein does it. As does S. Hollis Mickey. BLACKCLOUDSUMMONER regularly takes my breath, and bowels, away. Another artist who is on a massive creative roll is Housekeys. For those of you not in the know, Housekeys is a solo project for Tiffany Costello. The music Costello makes is glacial, with huge melodies and filagree keys. It is in the middle of a Venn diagram featuring drone, ambient, shoegazing and meditative. Costello’s latest release, Exploded Views, released on the exceptional Slowecho.Space, is more reflective than previous Housekeys releases but there is something beautiful in its slow-moving soundscapes.

Exploded Views lives up to its name. Each of the four tracks quietly explodes from the speakers. At times this feels like what is going on under a My Bloody Valentine song, once you’ve removed the layers of feedback. ‘Safety Instructions’ opens with a dainty melody before growing into something gratifying and sublime. It is one of the most ambient songs on the EP. It’s enchanting from start to finish and really shows off Costello’s ear for a killer composition. The standout track is the EP’s closer ‘How am I (Not) Myself’. Throughout its seven-minute duration Costello creates a rich tapestry of melodies, and drones, that constantly flow over each other. This gives the music a feeling of movement. While the individual movements are subtle, combined they create something closer to a mountain stream. Looking at it not much seems to be happening, other than water obeying gravity and running downhill. However, on a closer inspection you can see that parts of the stream are flowing faster than others. Little pebbles are being moved. Insects are being buffeted along as they search for mates and food. The same is true of ‘How am I (Not) Myself’. The first thing you notice is a bit drone, right in the middle of the song. This undulates gracefully and grounding the rest of the Costello’s playing. Around this central theme, what sounds like keyboards and guitars, intertwine. Individually these elements are pretty but don’t do a great deal. Combined, however, they create minute eddies. Each one adds a new level of texture, and tone, to the song. And each one brings a new emotion. Some are hopeful. Other sombre and others are dejected and crestfallen, but together they create something majestic.

Rumour has it that Costello is working on a full-length album. Its hard to tell if these songs are preludes to it, or if they were songs that were solid but didn’t quite fit in with her ideals for a longer piece. Either way we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, we are left with this immersive 20-minutes EP. With each listen I hear something new and get more of a feel about what this exceptional, and exciting, musician is all about.


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God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.