Listen to Woven In's latest dark-surf LP Highs and Ultra Lows
Woven In | Photo by Bob Sweeney | photo courtesy of the artist

The very first sound that comes out of Highs and Ultra Lows is a quick rumble of drum hits that echo the opening of infamous surf-pop song “Wipe Out.” Bright guitar tones come in and you’re ready to hit the beach. But then the tempo slows down a little, and you realize Woven In songwriter Mariah Johnson is taking things in a very different direction.

The gloomy “dark surf” of Johnson and drummer Brandon Och, who caught our attention last year with their Feel LP, is a paradoxical blend of post-punk and surf pop. Johnson inverts your expectations of happy-go-lucky beach party lyrics and instead explores social anxiety (“Tongue In a Cage”) and unsuccessful attempts at falling in love (“Hex/The Whack”).

Johnson’s voice is deep and droning, but every now and then she lets out a high-pitched yelp that both punctuates and diverts your attention from some of her darker thoughts (“Paradise” / “Shallow”). Johnson puts everything on the table but uses the quintessential surf pop riffs to mask it just a little bit; it’s like hiding in plain sight.

Listen to Highs and Ultra Lows below. Woven In play West Philly’s All Night Diner on August 6th and GRRRL FEST at Goldilocks Gallery on August 26th.

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