As the earth turns toward a colder era and humans struggle to adapt to a bleaker autumn breeze, a new music shivers in the shadows. There stand Weathered Statues. The group convened in early 2017 in Denver, Colorado, with three members having previously performed together in the post-doom outfit Cloak of Organs (along with members of Planes Mistaken for Stars and Wovenhand).
Singer-keyboardist Jennie Mather, guitarist-keyboardist Jason Heller, and drummer Andrew Warner (also of Slim Cessna’s Auto Club) recruited bassist Bryan Flanagan, and the newly dubbed quartet of Weathered Statues began forging songs of mutation, betrayal, dislocation, erosion, and decay, subsequently playing shows with everyone from Boy Harsher to Pelican. Years ago, Mather and Heller had served in a short-lived shoegaze band called Hyacinth with Anthony Couri (previously of Minsk and currently of the Locrian side-project Lake of Violet), and the two of them began to sculpt lush sounds into something far more stark.
Weathered Statues convened at Module Overload Studios in Denver over the summer of 2017 to record with Jamie Hillyer (engineer of Green Druid’s Ashen Blood). An album, Borderlands, coalesced, drawing on the grim futurism of the past: the barren darkness of Skeletal Family, the metallic abrasion of Killing Joke, the crystalline ghostliness of Siouxsie and the Banshees, the icy dreaminess of Xmal Deutschland, and the hollow fragility of early New Order. Then Lol Tolhurst, co-founder of The Cure, agreed to remix “Corpse Candle,” the opening track of Borderlands, infusing it with a sleek dance pulse, while Keith Curts of industrial duo Echo Beds added synthesizer to the album’s slashing final track, “Holy Masquerade.”
Borderlands is an album of peaks and valleys, of shattered beauty and sleepwalking drone, of corroded love and luscious grotesquerie. Mather, a nurse by trade, relays her years of being immersed in illness, injury, and death into her stark lyrics and spectral melodies. Around her, the band veer from glacial pop to savage dirges, summoning the phantoms of post-punk past while peering stoically into an uncertain tomorrow.