Slothrust at Volcanic
Sun, Mar 27, 2022 at 8pm
Leah Wellbaum has never been afraid of her own humility or honesty. But she’s never quite examined it the way she has now with Parallel Timeline.
On Slothrust’s latest album, bandleader Leah Wellbaum pushed herself to try and understand her own spirituality on a deeper level, putting a lens on the core wound of the human experience, the idea that we’re alone. With Parallel Timeline, Wellbaum explores the feeling of being trapped inside her own consciousness while simultaneously searching for a meaningful connection to the universe, and all the mysteries it contains.
During the writing process, Wellbaum sought to connect with her inner child - a voice that allows ideas to flow freely and without censorship. Ultimately, it allowed her to find poetic catharsis. The album’s artwork and visuals reflect that ethos as well. For her, inverted colored rainbows and orbs became a gateway to exploring the illusory things we see and experience in everyday life. The iconography of this record explores the space where science and the whimsical intersect, and where the unfamiliar becomes hardly recognizable. She is a strong believer that nothing is quite as it seems, and that a greater reality exists beyond what the human eye can see.
In advance of recording their fifth studio album, Leah, along with drummer Will Gorin, sought to dramatically expand the band’s sonic palette. Slothrust put an emphasis on incorporating new production techniques and processes into the established Slothrust sound, resulting in an extraordinary amount of experimental demo recordings, many elements of which appear themselves on the final record. They leaned into risk-taking — a freedom that comes with having been in a band together for more than 10 years, cultivating new sonic realms for each track. Leah sought to craft unique and calculated guitar parts instead of continuous bursts of wall-to-wall sound, and in turn delivers what will likely be considered a “how-to manual” for guitar playing in the next decade.
“On this record, I wanted to be even more precise with the guitar parts as opposed to creating a guitar palette, because a lot of artists, us included, have made songs that are so chock-full of guitar that distinct parts becomes a blur,” says Wellbaum. “I enjoy making that choice when it’s right but it’s the contrast of those things that I like to lean into. I strive to make the guitar sing like a human voice.”