The Key Studio Sessions: Woven In - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Mariah Johnson first caught our ear last September with a digital demo of moody, jagged, lo-fi pop called Feel. It was the first release of her solo project Woven In, which she founded in Florida before moving to Philadelphia last May. The tones are very gothic, the textures were reverberant and ominous, like eraly 80s records by The Cure. Upon arriving in town, she teamed up with drummer Brendan Och, played shows with Madalean Gauze and Straw Hats, and dropped another demo back in February called New City No Money (yielding some fantastic flickering visuals by Bob Sweeney on the song “Midriff”).

The buildup was all heading towards the Highs and Ultra Lows LP, her proper debut LP released last month on Bandcamp. The album continues to embody those haunting roots and melds them with swift and drifting Cramps-style guitar leads, leading Woven In to characterize itself as purveyors of dark surf anti-love songs. When they stepped into the studio this week for their Key Session, however, we heard and saw yet another step in their evolution.

One of the first things Johnson said to me, after talking gear for a minute or two, was that she wouldn’t be playing guitar – the set she and Och rehearsed instead utilized bass as the lead instrument. Slightly perplexed at first, it totally made sense when I heard the neck-snap drumline on “Lure” and immediately flashed back to Joy Division’s “Digital.” The three new songs Woven In premiered with us add a fuller, deeper dimension to their nervy minimalism. “Crowds” meditates on apathy; “In the Jaw” is a slam dance rager about the fight to fit in. Wrapping the set was a performance of “Hex / The Whack” from Highs and Ultra Lows, which has one of the most Ian Curtis lyrics I’ve heard in forever: “everyone is gonna die all alone / we might as well dance to our favorite song.”

You can do that in person when Woven In plays West Philly’s All Night Diner on August 6th and GRRRL FEST at Goldilocks Gallery on August 26th. To get warmed up, watch the band perform “In The Jaw” and stream the entire set below; while you’re at it, grab a free download at Soundcloud.

[vuhaus category=”videos” item=”woven-in-in-the-jaw-key-studio-session” ][/vuhaus]

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