OTW #470: Doldrums

North American Squat-core
OTW #470: Doldrums

Born out of the freethinking collectivism of cheap rent spaces of Toronto, Doldrums is moving fast: new records, constants tours, new labels. Output on No Pain In Pop, Souterrain Transmissions, and sharing a flip side with Portishead on XL all within twelve months, Airick (the popstar-ified spelling of Eric) is becoming prolific.

“Before I moved to Montréal I lived in a warehouse called the House Of Everlasting Superjoy, that’s where I got introduced to this arts music world. Specifically my roommates were inspirited by the Baltimore scene like Dan Deacon with people working together, getting a strong artistic coupling and interaction.”

Clash first met Airick a year ago in a space called W(0)MB in Montréal. Above an empty shop this former flat is gutted and trashed. There’s a shell of a kitchen that is now a bar, working onto a living room where synths cover the floor and dudes wig out. The space used to have tenants but had moved out due to the disruption it was having on their lives.

At the time Airick was playing mangled gabba and bottom-of-the-pan crusty dance music, from which he’s moved away. The new material is warm and vibrant, as shows a lot more restraint.

“The thing about the new stuff is that it’s way more about improvising and communicating. I think there’s this gradual tendency when you’re smoking weed and listening to a hifi, or in a club, you become attracted to seductive sound. Where everything’s getting a little hypnotic.”

The one constant with Doldrums is Airick’s voice. In keeping with his slight frame his voice is extremely soft, and slightly elevated. Even after he has distorted it in the recordings - screaming, wailing, mumbling - it retains a childlike quality. That despite the distortion and the crunching parts there remains a tenderness, which is both unusual and a blessing.

Words: Samuel Breen
Photography: Neil Bedford
Fashion: Chris Amfo


Where: Toronto
What: North American Squat-core
Get 3 songs: ‘Jump Up’, ‘Holographic Sandcastles’, ‘Endless Winter’
Unique Fact: The name Doldrums is taken from a favorite childhood book of Airick’s called The Phantom Tollbooth.
 

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