Gothenburg-via-Texas project share ‘Belong’, an insatiable piece of lethargic dream-pop taken from their incomind debut album Parallel Universes.
With 7,000 miles of ocean between them, Routine Death is the husband and wife duo of Lisa (Gothenburg) and Dustin Zozaya (Austin, TX), the latter playing in psych-pop sweethearts Holy Wave. On May 25th the project will be releasing their debut album ‘Parallel Universes’, a ten-track collection that serves as the perfect introduction to their dark lo-fi pop world. With the album release fast-approaching, Routine Death are sharing the latest single ‘Belong’ – an insatiable piece of lethargic dream-pop that falls somewhere between Slowdive and Broadcast. Minimalistic drum-machines and a thick hum of fuzzed-out guitars set the scene for Lisa’s beautifully entrancing vocals to wash over you as the track meanders through its five-minute running time.
The distance between the pair invokes a certain kind of intimacy in their music, the use of cheap equipment – including a five dollar drum machine iPhone app and decrepit barely-salvageable synths – and a creative process that involves constantly sending tracks forwards and backwards over the internet results in a minimalist noise-pop sound that shuns the overbearing sonic-excess that most new shoegaze bands fall victim to, instead stripping things down to the absolute fundamentals. Lisa’s sublime vocals float over repetitive midi drumbeats, glitched-out loops, droning organs and fuzzy lo-fi guitars. his separation is a key part of Routine Death’s creative process, as Dustin explains: “Obviously the method of making the music itself is a big part of the record. There’s that separation between us the whole time and that’s a big influence. We don’t work on anything together, we’ll just keep sending things back and forth. The songs mature that way.”
Elaborating on how exactly their creative process works, Dustin cites an unlikely influence in Wu-Tangs’ RZA: “What happens is I write stuff and I send it to Lisa over WeTransfer. She sings over it, sends it back to me and then I tweak the song according to her vocal parts. RZA from Wu-Tang Clan was actually a big influence. I was reading this book that he wrote and what he would do was he’d make this basic beat and then he’d have all the members of Wu-Tang come in and rap on it. Then he would sit there, listen to it and cut it apart and move everything around. So, that way the vocals aren’t just a layer on top, it’s another ingredient.”
Limitations are an integral part of the Routine Death ethos but not just in geographical terms, the lo-fi minimalism they exhibit coming down to the use of cheap equipment. As Dustin explains: “It sounds like really, really cheap gear. I make a lot of the beats on my phone on this little five dollar programme I have, I just put delay on it and run it through an amp. I also use this organ I found in the practice space, it’s totally wrecked. There’s a lot of that shit going on.
PRAISE FOR ROUTINE DEATH
“Sublime electronic psychedelia” The Quietus
“Assured psych-pop that matches extreme dark against shades of pure light…
a dense but intoxicating experience.” Clash Magazine
“The band’s love for lo-fi soundscapes, atmospheric tones and distortion shines
through, forming a solid foundation for the songs.” Culture Addicts
ROUTINE DEATH – PARALLEL UNIVERSES ARTWORK
CONNECT WITH ROUTINE DEATH