L.A. quartet Iress’ new album “Flaw” arrives Friday as a cathartic blast of mood-shifting metal and shoegaze, dark yet inviting. In today’s QUARANTUNES, Alex Moreno and Michelle Malley talk about battling the crippling effects of the pandemic and share a playlist for feeling uninhibited.
THE LATEST FROM IRESS
“Underneath,” one of four singles Iress have released so from their sophomore album, is like “falling headfirst into that dark place that can be both scary and comforting,” the L.A. quartet says. That broadly applies to their entire album, “Flaw,” which finally arrives on Friday. A muscular mix of doomy, dark metal and atmospheric shoegaze, the album was produced and engineered by Sarah Tudzin of Illuminati Hotties. It’s well worth adding to your heavy-duty Catharsis 2020 playlist … and, once the pandemic lifts, experiencing in person.
* Updated with full album stream
HOW ARE YOU HOLDING UP AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MANAGE THE ‘STAY AT HOME’ EDICT?
Alex Moreno: Working on the release of “Flaw” has kept us busy during the last few months. It has kept up some momentum and excitement for us, which has been great. During the first few months of the stay-at-home order, however, we didn’t play music together or see anyone, which was extremely hard. There was a lot of going back to the old “practice guitar in the garage” day after day. Luckily, we have been able to meet safely as a band a few times. There’s nothing like the feeling of playing with your band at full volume after that long of a break. It was very emotional.
Michelle Malley: At the beginning of lockdown, the highlight of my day was drinking coffee with my roommates. It was really hard for me to write music. I felt trapped. I started to run, do yoga and finish puzzles to keep busy. Once I was comfortable meeting, I was able to see my band again and be outside. I started to feel “normal” again. It’s been hard, but I appreciate the time I get with my friends more than ever and have been focusing on writing music and getting our album out into the world.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO WHEN THIS IS OVER?
Alex Moreno: Like most of our fellow musicians and friends, we are looking forward to seeing live music and playing again. We spent most of our free time seeing bands play every week and we miss all of our friends so much.
Michelle Malley: Shows, shows, shows. I miss them so much. It’s really hard for me to watch videos of my band and our friends bands without feeling sad. I know this will bring our music family even closer, and I’m grateful for that, but I cannot wait for this to be over so we can play live music again.
ANYTHING WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PLAYLIST?
Alex Moreno: These are songs we have listened to on repeat over the past six months. To keep my mind busy during the lockdown, I would go on long walks for hours and listen to music — a lot of these songs in particular — over and over. It created this different landscape in an otherwise boring, suburban neighborhood. I would find myself walking further and further each time, completely diving into the realm of what each song made me feel. It was freeing in a time of feeling constricted.
Michelle Malley: Alex and I definitely connect with these songs and have some mutual repeats in our collection. It wouldn’t be an Iress playlist if there wasn’t some heavy, heart-wrenching songs.