Last May, a little-known trio called Piles forcefully announced its arrival with Planet Skin, its sophomore album and a near-masterpiece of Milwaukee-made post-punk that earned the No. 6 slot on our “25 best Milwaukee albums of 2015 list. A little more than a year later, Piles are playing out regularly and were recently at Howl Street Recordings laying down material for a new record. Unfortunately, that music probably won’t make its way to wax until early 2017. Luckily, the band’s bass player has been busy working on a solo record for much of 2016.

Over the weekend, Nolan Truttschel released IXAT, the debut effort from the side project he calls \\NASTOS\\. The nine songs—which he considers “[his] wintertime brain emissions”—were written and self-recorded by Truttschel, who sings and plays every instrument. What results is a lighter version of Piles, one in which the distortion is turned way down and the band’s (predominately) background vocalist is given a lo-fi platform for stripped down and earnest winter ruminations.