In Greek mythology, the labyrinth was a maze designed to contain the hybrid beast known as the Minotaur. Appropriately, Tucson alt country experiment LABRYYYNtH is a complicated side project within a side project, comprised of Dr. Dog multi-instrumentalist Dimitri Manos and his bandmates from his other group, Golden Boots.
As the band explains, there was never any plan to tour or even perform; in fact, its sole intention was to use the project as a means of creating strange, new sounds without the limitations that come with live shows. To achieve those otherworldly sounds, the band recorded everywhere, from studios to its kitchen to a walk-in icebox. These haphazard sessions would eventually result in LABRYYYNtH’s self-titled debut, due out November 4th via People In A Position To Know.
As our first taste, they’ve shared chaotic lead single “Ugly One”. “[The track] was something Dimitri had written years ago as an R&B ballad type of song,” co-founder Nathan Sabatino said in a statement. “We’d been listening to a lot of Apollo-era Brian Eno records in the studio. We just started playing around with the song really stripped down- pedal steel, Moog synth and a deconstructed drum beat. It didn’t fit with anything else we had been working on at that time but we liked the world it occupied, so it became the first recording and the direction for this new album.”
The track itself is a disorienting take on the alt country sound. The familiar sound of the steel guitar is teased repeatedly before quickly shifting to jaunty, synth-centric jams. Haunting noises rumble in the sparse mix while drums sputter sporadically. With all the musical twists and turns it’s easy to miss heartbreaking and humanizing lyrics like “Gave up on your dreams so long ago.” It’s a successful merger between the twang from their previous projects and a stylistic, disorienting production value. Listen in below.