Houses – Beginnings (single) (Downtown Records)

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Electronic dream-pop duo Houses are set to release their second album, ‘A Quiet Darkness’ on 16 April via Downtown Records. Ahead of the release, the pair have unveiled the video for the first song on the album, “Beginnings”.

Formed in Chicago in 2010, the now Los Angeles based Dexter Tororiello and Megan Messina far from conjure up images of sunny Southern Californian skies on “Beginnings”. Opening with a jewelry box like arpeggio, which continues throughout the entire song, deep piano chords and dual male/female vocals follow shortly after creating a rich and deeply melancholic landscape.

While there were melancholy moments on their 2010 debut ‘All Night’, it was largely an dreamy, minimalist, and ethereal electronic pop record. In contrast, “Beginnings” is more of a mood piece than a traditional “single” with a temperament similar to that of say, The National.

At four and half minutes in duration “Beginnings” is slow moving and sullen, never once changing key or tempo. Big guitar chords and dramatic drum rolls are introduced around 2:15 further increasing the tension and drama.

The narrative for the upcoming record tells the story of a husband and wife separated in the midst of a nuclear disaster and their attempt to reunite with one another along the Highway 10 in California before their inevitable deaths, each song taking place in different abandoned houses along the way. Yes, this is heavy going stuff.

Combined with an equally moving video “Beginnings” is a beautiful and deeply melancholic introduction to the forthcoming album. Just brace yourself – you have been warned.

“Beginnings” will appear on the upcoming Houses album ‘A Quiet Darkness’ due for release on 16 April, 2013 through Downtown Records. Meanwhile the single ‘The Beauty Surrounds / Beginnings’ was released 5 February, 2013 and is available via iTunes now.

Watch the video for “Beginnings” below:

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