by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
In recent months there has been a flood of activity among the veterans of the legendary Dischord Records. While many of these bands (Hammered Hulls, Fake Names) are in their infancy, the DC label’s latest signing, TK Echo have arrived fully formed on their self-titled debut EP, due out January 25th. Carrying the torch for the label’s close knit legacy, the quartet features a handful of Dischord and DC fixtures: Chris Richards (Q And Not U), Aaron Leitko (Protect-U), Josh Blair (Supersystem), and Fiona Griffin (Et At It). In the span of three songs and about eleven minutes, their introduction to the world shows a dynamic range, with hints to Richards’ past efforts but a new vision that intertwines elements of synth pop, art-rock, and post-punk into something that feels pretty damn exuberant in a time when little else does. The band are free of expectations, creating music that grooves on complex rhythms one minute and pummels with hypnotic focus the next.
The record’s first single “Fade My Mind” is as good a start as any, a song that sets the tone for their shifting style, led by a lush bed of synth textures and an elastic beat that snaps in and out of place, pulled tight and left to collapse into new shapes. There’s an immediate heft from the song’s opening gasp to the intricately catchy vocal melody, everything shares an equal focus, the band building upon each other in a symbiotic way. The band dig into non-traditional hooks and structures disguised as pop in a wake of repetitive harmonies and progressions, creating a sense of glistening familiarity while simultaneously pushing further into tangled punk. It’s not easy to do, but TK Echo do it well.
TK Echo’s self-titled EP is out January 25th via Dischord Records.