The Warp/The Weft; Mapping An Absence

The Warp/The Weft have a brand new album out. Released on Admiral Trait Records, ‘Mapping an Absence‘ is also available @ https://thewarptheweft.bandcamp.com plus all of the usual purchasing platforms. Their new video for ‘Empty Nests‘ tells a story: “In the video, a young woman dreams of war and loss and empty nests, then awakens to find an empty nest in the woods. The action is inspired by the lyrics of the song, which begin with Your dream catcher caught the knife. The young woman is Erin Pellnat of the Brooklyn band, Caretaker.” The opening line, alone, made me want to follow this story through to the end. What I discovered was a fascinating visual journey that is perfectly complimented by the magic of the song itself. The end of the story is left open for the listener to take it in any direction they want. The Warp/The Weft have the ability to weave the beauty of sound, sight, and lyrics in a way that makes you want to dwell in the alternate dimensions they create.

The Warp/The Weft are based out of Poughkeepsie, NY. Tracks from Mapping an Absence range from “chamber folk rock to dark haunted ballads, to sparkling psychedelia with stunning vocals.” These guys have been around in one form or another since 2012. The years spent together, even with changes, have fine tuned their craft into a consistent style that is uniquely their own whether you choose to call it folk, acid folk, progressive, psychedelic rock, or something else. Their sound is ethereal at times, dark and haunting at others. Again, the ability to blend contrasting elements of sound lead them away from any danger of predictability.

The Warp/The Weft offered some insight in to their history, creative approach, and what’s happening with the band:

In July, The Warp/The Weft released “Mapping an Absence,” an eight-song album that shows the band continuing to push the boundaries of folk-rock into psychedelic and progressive territories. Recorded in September 2016 at Artfarm studio in Accord, New York, “Mapping an Absence” possesses a very “live” feel because much of it was recorded in the studio “live” with minimal overdubs.  The band chose this recording approach in collaboration with the album’s sound engineer Dave Andersen, to capture the energy and color of the music.
This is the band’s third release. In 2013 they released a self-titled EP and the album “Wind of Hours Unwinding” in 2014.  With each release, the Poughkeepsie, New York-based band has expanded its musical palette, experimenting with new sounds and time signatures.  However, there is a distinct, recognizable thread that connects all of the band’s work, and that is the songwriting and stunning vocals of the band’s founder, Shane Murphy.
Shane performed his songs solo for several years with just his acoustic guitar, before deciding to form a band in the fall of 2012.  His song lyrics read like poetry, as Shane is inspired by English and Spanish poets. Yet when set to music his lyrics take on a new dimension of feeling.
The lead guitarist Chris Pellnat was the first player to join (he responded to Shane’s Craigslist ad) and soon thereafter the drummer, Christian John Laura joined (Christian happened to live in the same Poughkeepsie apartment building as Shane).  The trio at first worked on “band versions” of some of Shane’s existing songs–not long after, Shane would begin writing new songs with the band in mind.  The fledgling band played their first gig (sans bass) at The Spotty Dog in Hudson, NY in November 2012.
(handpainted banner by Chris Pellnat)
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The bass player Dave Andersen joined and, thanks to his experience with recording, helped the band record its first two records, while also playing bass and gigging with the band. Dave departed from the band to focus on his career in recording–he currently works at Sound City Studio in Los Angeles. Replacing Dave was Trevor Larcheveque who, in addition to playing bass, sings beautiful harmonies with Shane. The arrival of Trevor has transformed the band’s sound in a very positive way, as evidenced by the sterling vocal harmonies on the new album.
The band’s method of creating music is collaborative. The band is Shane’s vision–he writes and sings all the songs–but the other band members are more than just “sidemen.”  As each song develops, the band members create their own instrumental parts and help shape the songs. These instrumental parts are integral to how the final song comes across to the listener.
The Warp/The Weft’s unique sound has some listeners grasping for adjectives and labels to describe it. The band’s sound has been called chamber psychedelic folk rock, which is perhaps as good a description as any.  The band is currently playing gigs and working on some new material as well.
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