Way back on episode nine of the Humor and the Abject podcast, I interviewed comedians Lorelei Ramirez and Tynan Delong about their sort-of-secret musical collaboration, Wwwwater. They were kind enough to debut demo versions of a couple new tracks, "Nightmare" and "Stay," from their forthcoming record. This week, Ramirez and Delong released that album: Choirs & Ice.
It's an ambient and haunting collection of songs that might initially surprise fans of their comedy. However, this sonic collage ultimately makes sense. Ramirez is known for her horror-influenced, performance art-laced comedy sets, as well as her drawing practice that's simultaneously terrifying and prepossessing. On Choirs & Ice, Ramirez's lyrics, vocal cadence, and melody lines are alluringly beautiful without ever getting saccharine. There's a disconcerting reverberation behind her voice that recalls the terribly fucked up scenarios she delicately renders in ink and watercolor on paper.
Delong is a gifted comedian and filmmaker whose video pieces look polished and professional while maintaining a DIY edge. This hybrid approach translates well for him on Choirs & Ice. The driving beats he's constructed for Ramirez are experimental and glitchy, but still feel enveloping. A lavish studio facility isn't required to produce an arresting album, and while listening to the record on repeat I imagined Delong obsessing in the middle of the night over a small mountain of cobbled-together production equipment in his Brooklyn bedroom. Musician Dan Arnes, from power pop band Leapling, lent his mixing talents to the record.
It's exciting to hear how the demo versions of the songs evolved and developed into such a solid final product. Further, it's a big jump from the self-titled record they released on tape in 2016. That project was a fun glimpse into what was yet to come, but Choirs & Ice is evidence that Ramirez and Delong have officially found their sound. With stressful holiday travel likely looming for many of us, I'd recommend zoning out with this on your headphones to find some ethereal solace on the plane. It's short and begs to be looped--there are plenty of subtle elements throughout that will reward multiple spins.
Stream the album below or on Spotify, and purchase it via Bandcamp or iTunes. I've embedded the Humor and the Abject podcast episode with them below the record. Give that a listen to hear about their collaborative process with Wwwwater.
Humor and the Abject 33: Lorelei Ramirez & Tynan Delong