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June Gloom / Rock Solid - "Subletter / Something Solid" | Album Review

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by Katixa Espinoza (@kattidk_)

During Summer, one can draw empathy in those moments where one sits in the car in pouring evening rain with a clouded headspace. The car is still running, water hailing against the windows and the radio won’t stop playing songs that assimilate to one’s own reflective melancholy in the moment. That reflective melancholy is found in Brooklyn’s very own June Gloom and Rock Solid’s split EP Subletter / Something Solid, reminding us of one’s own past lessons in vulnerability and the observance of the body vs. self in reaction to those occurrences in present time. Through this surfaces haunting chord progressions and wistful lyrics that are contemplative and confessional. Subletter / Something Solid extends us the help to bring us out of the isolating funk one can be brought to. 

June Gloom’s Jesse Paller brings us to understand what is bottled in the body and how it manifests after expiry in Subletter. Paller’s form of storytelling through lyricism is calculated as it sets a mysterious tone for the captivating instrumentation that precedes it. In it’s twangy, starlight daze— ”Teeth” sets an atmosphere for the all of Subletter with the lines, “how could you live that way / hiding from yourself all day / vacationing in someone’s life.” A thinning, minimalist sound— Subletter creates an atmosphere for what it is like to be in a body that is in constant wonders outside of its self questioning, “Is this where I am supposed to be?”

A glimmer of that appears in Something Solid, manifesting as invitation to search the body for the true self— past heartbreak. Reminiscent of Mitski with her devastatingly beautiful chord progressions, Rock Solid’s Jaime Knoth’s approach to acoustic indie rock has morsels of acoustic post grunge and anti-folk influences— making it emerge in particular amongst those in indie rock, especially in “Loose Track.” With the use of poetic imagery paired with Knoth’s maudlin alto register throughout the four songs, Something Solid immerses you into rolling tides of mourning the afflicted body on tracks such as “Wicker” where she sings “one by one / these swollen thumbs / these strings undone / hanging from / false echoings of memories / holding me on to something dumb.Something Solid builds an intersection between coping with precedent pain and music that can accompany it, establishing an organic and vulnerable approach to songwriting. 

It’s in those moments where you get to turn off the car engine with Rock Solid’s incredible B-side to pair with June Gloom’s painfully alluring A-side. A breath of fresh air, Subletter / Something Solid gives you a chance to breathe once again, bringing you home— wherever or whatever home may be.