News__ Listen To: Esben and The Witch

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Open your ear holes to Esben and the Witch

Sounds like: Being lost in an unfamiliar wood and stumbling onto some occult ritual in progress.
Check 'em out if you like: Austra, Zola Jesus

For those involved in the music machine otherwise known as "the industry", South By Southwest is a lot like 'Nam. Full of chaos, anguish, and heatstroke, every poor soul arrives empowered and full of hope, only to recede into a walking shell of the person they once were, stumbling around and telling anyone who will listen (and many who won't) about the one time that Tyler the Creator called them a bitch and then apologized profusely.

Doom-n-gloom UK rockers, Esben and the Witch, dropped onto our radar just as we were gearing up for the great annual pilgrimage down to Austin. Their deliciously dark debut LP, Violent Cries, had garnered some attention a few months earlier, and they began appearing on the hundreds of "Must See at SXSW" lists spanning the (gag) blogosphere. Unfortunately, as is part of the trouble with massive industry events, though Esben and the Witch's brand of melodramatic prog pop was critically lauded and speckled many "Best of" recaps, the Brighton trio's coverage got lost somewhere between Odd Future hissy-fits and countless open bars. Fair? No. Par for the course? Probably.

But now, Esben and the Witch, who take their name from a Danish fairytale involving child cruelty and ritual slaughter ("The ideas and the imagery fit the music." Okay…), have released their latest EP, Hexagons, and are ready for the recognition they're overdue to receive. The six-track release ventures a touch more into the breakbeat bleepy-bloopies of nu rave than Violent Cries or their debut EP, Marching Song, dare to, but it still manages to retain the compelling gravitas that makes their sound so immediately enchanting.

Stream or download "Hexagons II (The Flight)" and check out Hexagons EP, out now via Matador. Bonus points: Peep this gruesome-if-you're-a-pussy video for "Marching Song" off of Violent Cries!

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