Band monikers can often be random and arbitrary, but Milwaukee’s Hello Death is nothing if not aptly named. The experimental folk quartet—made up of members of Group Of The Altos—is both welcoming and morose, full of life and stripped to the bone. The group’s excellent 2013 self-titled debut is similarly multifaceted, highlighted by the dramatic baritone of singer Nathaniel Heuer and the airy harmonies of Marielle Allschwang and Erin Wolf. Wrap it all up in Neil Young/Dead Man electric guitar, nervy violin and piano, and menacing stand-up bass, and you have a singular band that creates music that seems to pre-date and stand apart from the very idea of music itself.
Hello Death’s mission of getting under your skin continues with Remnants, a new album set for release on Milwaukee’s Gloss Records. As its title suggests, the eight-song effort features songs recorded in 2012 during the April Base sessions for the group’s debut. But it’s more than a collection of outtakes; instead, Remnants is something of a companion piece to the first album, familiar and of-a-piece yet able to stand on its own. If anything, it’s a quieter, more intimate affair, relying almost solely on the otherworldly harmonies of the group’s three singers. It’s the “Death” to the debut’s “Hello.”
Before Remnants is released digitally and on cassette May 19, listen to a track, “Burn It Down,” only at Milwaukee Record. The album can be pre-ordered now via Gloss Records. Hello Death will celebrate the release of Remnants May 23 with an afternoon set at ACME Records, and a full show later in the evening at Company Brewing.