Los Angeles musician and visual artist pastel's latest cathartic offering "stammer," the artist explores a complex history with settler colonialism, relaying a loss of words for Native traumas.
As the closing track off his forthcoming absent, just dust EP, "stammer" begins with a haunting hum beneath dampened vocals, creating a void of intelligible language. A sudden reverberating kick shifts the voice off-center, leaving it swathed in staccato piano notes, jarring synth stabs and layered harmonies. Through its lack of lyrics, "stammer" explores the silencing of Native voices in a perpetually harsh political climate.
“Right as the voices begin to settle into themselves, the track ends on a chord that feels unresolved. Though a language of sorts is crafted through its very loss, the right words never quite come into focus. 'stammer' deals most explicitly with an inability to formulate language around the historical and generational trauma tackled in the preceding tracks of the EP."
The absent, just dust EP acts as a point of departure from the artist's soulful, R&B influenced Bone-Weary EP from last year. What remains constant is pastel's unwavering ability to confront taboo topics with detailed and thoughtful artistry. Stay tuned for the full EP release on August 25, and listen to "stammer" now.
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