by Tom Alexander (@___alexd)
Gold Dime makes music unstuck from time and place. It’s distinctive, bold, and tense, and it comes from a place that feels utterly other. The project, led by Andrya Ambro, is set to release its second album, My House, this Friday (10/11) on Fire Talk Records. My House is a further refinement of the no-wave, art-punk, experimental sounds of Gold Dime’s debut, Nerves; the project’s cemented line-up of John Bohannon (guitar) and Ian Doulgas-Moore (bass) accompanying Ambro on vocals and drums. They have shared a new song, “La Isla De Vado” ahead of the new album’s release.
About the “La Isla De Vaso,” Ambro says: “I did not go into this one with any kind of conscious lyrical intention, only a feeling of triumphant angst and dread. And somehow the instruments, voice and words all play into that. When I listen to this song after the fact, it more feels like a sorrowed but defiant rumination of someone who sees the end of the things. You can smile at it, chuckle a little bit, maybe provoke the unaware or the unaware who think they’re aware… but in the end all you can do is offer a sincere hand, because we’re all walking through the glass bubble together. Is it about present times? Not intentionally, but I can see how one might interpret it to be.”
Like other Gold Dime songs, “La Isla De Vaso” lacks the obvious frameworks of traditional pop songs. Instead, this jagged tone poem establishes an uneasy mood and never lets up for a second. With no rising crescendo of an ending, the song will leave you naked and surprised once it’s over, like you have just been ushered out of a forest into a clearing, looking around to regain your bearings. Ambro’s tom-centered drums create a moving ground for Bohannon’s nervous guitar and Douglas-Moore’s gnashing basslines. “La Isla De Vaso” does what Gold Dime does best, which is transmuting internal worlds into their sonic, aural equivalents. Here, the landscape is harsh but not overtly hostile, as Ambro refrains “We are all walking on glass.” It’s painful, but we’re in this together. The song was produced by Ambro herself, recorded by Ernie Indradat, and mastered by Sarah Register, who previously collaborated with Ambro in the now-mythic duo Talk Normal.