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MASS GOTHIC

Mass Gothic

I've Tortured You Enough

    I've Tortured You Long Enough is the tongue-in-cheek title of Mass Gothic's second album. Husband/wife duo Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri have always dipped in and out of each other's creative spaces, advising on their respective outputs and supporting one another. But, until this record, they had never completely committed to doing an entire album as a duo, sharing an equal load. The result is a record packed with the tension, chaos and beauty of a fluid and cathartic two-way conversation. In a universe that increasingly threatens our abilities to communicate and coexist, their creative union isn't just inspired but important.

    When Heroux put out Mass Gothic’s 2016 debut, following the end of his prior band, Hooray for Earth, he did so as a solo entity. Plagued by insecurities and anxieties, Heroux wasn't ready to deal with putting his trust and confidence into another shared project. So what changed? He can't exactly pinpoint when the phrase “I've tortured you long enough” came to him, but it became a mantra, almost a premonition. He had tortured his own psyche long enough, and was particularly in need of forcing himself out of his comfort zone and letting go of that prior stubbornness. And the phrase has a broader application, too. “It covers so many bases but it's taken on extra meaning in the past couple of years when everybody is at each other's throats, frustrated and confused all the time,” Heroux explains.

    Heroux and Zambri wrote I’ve Tortured You Long Enough while bouncing around the country without a place to call home. From working in a rented cabin in upstate New York, to living out of a car with a duffel bag of clothes, to crashing with their co-producer Josh Ascalon in LA, to ditching a mixed version of the album and rerecording the whole thing, the band worked tirelessly while their lives were totally in flux. “Maybe we wouldn't have been able to do it if we were anchored at home. We were forced into it. Jess was trying to open me up and if we could have just sat on a couch and thrown on the TV it probably wouldn't have worked.” The album was ultimately recorded in Brooklyn with Rick Kwan, and Chris Coady mixed the record and Heba Kadry mastered it.

    The final product recalls the frantic energy of Animal Collective and the celestial torch-bearing of Bat for Lashes, and reveals a remarkable arc. It begins from a place of uncertainty, disquiet, and self-doubt, and concludes with the comfort in knowing that you can be both independent and successful in a relationship.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Dark Window
    2. Call Me
    3. J.Z.O.K.
    4. Keep On Dying
    5. How I Love You
    6. I've Tortured You Long Enough
    7. New Work
    8. The Goad
    9. Big Window

    After nearly ten years as the creative force behind much-loved New York rock outfit Hooray For Earth, Noel Heroux had lost his way. “I was constantly cutting corners and phoning everything in,” he says. “I was super depressed. I was creatively frustrated. I was emotionally unavailable to the people I really, really wanted to be there for - and no matter how much I cared, I just couldn’t change. But when I realized that I needed to the end the band and just try again, my head cleared and the clouds parted. I’d been derailed somehow,” he adds

    “So I allowed myself to return to the beginning.”

    This year marks the release of ‘Mass Gothic’, the Massachusetts-bred, New Yorkbased singer / songwriter’s self-titled Sub Pop debut. Written and recorded at home over four months during the winter of 2013 - 2014, it’s a stunning reminder of not just Heroux’s own remarkable talents as singer and songwriter but how unbridled creativity can sound and feel: before Hooray For Earth had quickly become a fullyfunctioning band it began as a solo project. Not pressure or compromises, just Heroux, a four-track and an irrepressible urge to “jot down all of the noise and music floating around in my head” and make it available to other people. “All I wanted to do was whatever I do when I’m alone and I’m unconcerned with what anyone else wants or expects,” he says. “I did my best to let go, and what came out was pure, uncut. It reminded me of the first few times I made music, when I was a young kid. I didn’t set any rules and I had zero expectations.”

    The result is an expansive, often exhilarating set of guitar-driven pop that required very little editing when it was done. Additional mixing was provided by Chris Coady (Beach House, TV On The Radio) with mastering done by Greg Calbi (Father John Misty, Tame Impala) at Sterling Sound. The album was engineered by Wall at Tastefully Loud and mastered by Eric Boulanger at The Bakery in Los Angeles.

    From the iridescent doo-wop of ‘Every Night You’ve Got to Save Me’ to the skyward crescendo of ‘Mind Is Probably’ to the falsetto-streaked clatter of ‘Want To, Bad’, it’s a radiant retelling of Heroux’s starting over, with ‘Nice Night’ as its cathartic, electrifying centrepiece.

    “A lot of these songs are more or less a really dramatic, loud apology / thank you note,” he says, referencing his partner, collaborator and future tour mate, Jessica. “It didn’t matter where any of the sounds came from. I just cared that it sounded big and heavy, and that it was moving when it was done. It’s a clean slate entirely - and I’m so relieved.”

    TRACK LISTING

    Mind Is Probably
    Own The Road
    Want To, Bad
    Pier Pressure
    Nice Night
    Every Night You’ve Got
    To Save Me
    Money Counter
    Territory
    Soul
    Subway Phone


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