Praises, the project helmed by Toronto-based artist, Jesse Crowe is today sharing their new single, “Life is Just a Picture” which comes as another glimpse of their second album, In This Year: Hierophant – out June 17 through Hand Drawn Dracula (Tess Parks, Tallies, Young Guv). Through instinct, talent, and of course, blind luck, Praises – who now operate as a full band – harnessed their sound through the course of the pandemic, leaning into the creative spirit and a recording process reminiscent of a Bad Seeds project where key players wrote their parts from only a demo track and a feeling. The result pushes beyond their industrial synth-based offerings, incorporating the intensity of their highly regarded live performances with an intimate, collaborative, and distanced songwriting process.
When discussing “Life is Just a Picture”, which layers eerie vocals with decayed electronics and haunting synth, Crowe says: “Eventually we all live on in smudged still images on phones or in frames. This song breathes both the sorrow and joy of a lifetime of memories. Written in dedication to the intermingling stories of Grandma Upton and Granny Crowe.” It’s a foggy, gothic addition to the forthcoming album which at times touches on the sounds of Low, Zola Jesus and Chelsea Wolfe.
As with their acclaimed debut album, In This Year: Ten Of Swords, Jesse Crowe works with career-long collaborator Josh Korody (Beliefs, Breeze, Candle Studio) on the mix and with Heather Kirby mastering (Dreamlands). Every new year Crowe draws a tarot card to represent what is to come, shaping the character of the coming album and its title. On In This Year: Hierophant, Praises delves deeper into a world of hypnotic vocals, textured synths, and arrangements to transcendent effect. This album expands Praises’ sonic palette stylistically and lyrically, exploring themes of human reckoning and hope.
Praises first emerged at a time when Beliefs co-front, Jesse Crowe, struggled to find an outlet to release their inner conversations into a public forum. Into a place where their creative outlet has evolved and spanned over a course of four EPs and two albums. Dark and theatrical, Crowe’s influences move through the hum of Rachel Goswell’s shoegazing, the drive of Patti Smith’s poetic delivery, blending the art-gloom of Beth Gibbons’ sultry jazz with Annie Lennox’s avant-gardism found on a “Night Full of Tension” and “Sweet Surprise.”
You can pre-order Praises’ In This Year: Hierophanthere