Von Haze is both the self-titled debut EP of duo Travis Caine and Katherine Kin and the first release from new Los Angeles label Hippos In Tanks. Hailing from Brooklyn, Von Haze combines tawdry synths with gothic guitar drone. While comparisons to other acts, such as next-big-thing The XX are inevitable thanks to the restrained male and female vocals of Caine and Kin, the music of Von Haze is darker and more minimalist than the British synth-poppers.
Von Haze begins with an ominously throbbing beat and Kins melancholic vocals on EP opener Get Me Alone. The darkly sensual nature of Get Me Alone sets the sinister tone for the rest of the EP. Von Haze is at their portentous best on Sooner or Later, the highlight of the EP. As the mechanical thump of the drum machine resonates and the whispered vocals for a spooky seven and a half minutes on Sooner or Later, Katherine Kin and Travis Caine reveal their prowess of combining the psychedelic with the addictively sedating. On the especially austere Sad Girls, Caine shares vocal duty and feedback reminiscent of The Jesus and Mary Chain joins forces with the dirtiest of synths.
Everyway is the most energetic song on the EP, as Travis Caine takes the vocal lead from Katherine Kin, while synths and drum machines give way to more guitar feedback. Von Haze takes a turn for the dreamier side of things on Outside the Night, but the hypnotic eeriness of the rest of the EP remains intact thanks to an unearthly organ. This otherworldly sound continues with Kins and Caines breathy vocals at their most detached on the organ-driven Looking Down, the spellbindingly seductive closer. OnVon Haze, the Brooklyn duo of the same name introduce themselves as a band with both an intriguing sound and a potential for greatness in the future.