Us and Us Only, now a decade deep in their existence, formed in Baltimore, Maryland after a chance meeting of Sean Mercer (drums, engineering) and Kinsey Matthews (guitar, vocals) following a show Kinsey had played at the (now unfortunately defunct) Bell Foundry. Mike Suica (violin, keys) would be the link between the two musicians to get things moving. Nick Hughes (bass, keys) would later join ahead of the Bored Crusader 7”, ultimately completing the band’s make-up.
Over the course of one EP (2012’s Dark Cloud Past), two 7”s (2014’s Lifting Lake Eerie and 2015’s Bored Crusader) and one LP (2017’s Full Flower), Us and Us Only shifted from a foundation of moody folk towards a darker blend of pop. Full Flower would see the group incorporate elements of slowcore, freak folk, and punk rock into an album that Pitchfork (Ian Cohen) would state “uses slowcore not just as a variant of indie rock, but also a framework to make real-deal pop songs that make boredom sound utterly desirable.”
In avoidance of keeping quiet ahead of their next LP, 2019’s Two Songs shows Us and Us Only occupying a space touched upon on their 2017 album, Full Flower, with an alternate, more atmospheric cut of “My Mouth.” This take trades the original version's undeniable grooves for warm distortion, old Casio keyboards, and simplistically programmed beats. Listeners may hear something akin to Smog taking a shot at Under the Western Freeway-era Grandaddy.
Two Songs also features a remix of “Veiled / Forming” by White Wreath (Han Offman of High Bloom). The song, initially conceived to be more Jon Brion than Burial, is given a soft-industrial makeover fit for the first signs of Spring.
If Full Flower was the band’s best impression of waking up to (and running out of) a house on fire, grabbing what means the most to them on the way out, Two Songs is coming home to see what’s left in the mess of it all.
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['Bored of Black'] is sleepy and plaintive in a way that sounds assured, and the vocals are pinched and warm."
"Morphing 90’s slowcore, emo-revival, lush synths, and psych-folk to create their own uniquely familiar sound."
"The Baltimore band’s full-length debut uses slowcore not just as a variant of indie rock, but also a framework to make real-deal pop songs that make boredom sound utterly desirable."
-Pitchfork (on "Full Flower")