L.A. quartet IRESS is the sound of a tsunami approaching, in slow motion, massive but carrying a tune, freighted with impending doom but also with a sense of wonder. Not quite metal, or shoegaze, or slowcore, but a cathartic brew of those genres.
To review: The band got its start under the name IRIS, soon realizing that far too many bands considered themselves messengers of the gods and used that name. So they settled on the pseudo-portmanteau IRESS — “ire” for anger, the suffix “-ess” denoting its femaleness. They released an album in 2015 and an EP in 2019 and became a must-see item at L.A. clubs before coalescing for a powerful full-length, “Flaw,” which suffered the fate of being released in the first autumn of the pandemic.
Now the quartet — singer-guitarist Michelle Malley, bassist Michael Maldonado, drummer Glenn Chu and new guitarist Graham Walker — return with “Ricochet,” the first single from “Solace,” an EP arriving May 12 via Dune Altar Records.
It’s a refinement of IRESS’s sound, melodic grandiosity but not so dense that the majesty of Malley’s vocals don’t deliver an exorcism.
“I feel emotional every time I sing ‘Ricochet’,” the singer says. “I started writing it a couple years back during a really rough time in my life. When the band got their hands on it, it really transformed into something powerful. It’s a song about loss and anguish and the journey to self-discovery and acceptance.”
Fans of artists such as Marriages, Chelsea Wolfe, Red Sparowes and Emma Ruth Rundle might want to circle May 12 for the release of “Solace.” “Ricochet” is officially out on Friday.
||| Stream: “Ricochet”