Sometimes albums just slip through your fingers. And sometimes someone else picks the album up and puts in back in your hand. That's what happened with the Doubt EP by King Woman. Released in October 2014 I just recently got around to it. Not that it hasn't received plenty of praise though. The Kristina Esfandiari fronted outfit saw lots of positive press upon its release. Here's some more.
Opener “Wrong” feels like a SubRosa track with no violins and a different singer. Slow, dark, doomy and massive. The guitars surround and layers move in and out of focus as your ears shift to try and take it all in.
“King of Swords” follows with a more shoegaze slant. I'm reminded of recent Alcest or Explosions in the Sky in the way the tremolos sparkle amid the brooding cadences. Esfandiari's croon sounds freeing, like a burden being lifted from the heart. Her expressive delivery comes from deep within, laying bare her soul.
“Burn” continues with the deceptive nature of the EP. On one hand it feels simple, easy, and uncomplicated as the forlorn melodies and droning pull lumber on unstoppable. But on the other hand there is so much going on. Every member is playing off one another in some way with lush atmosphere and depressing tone. The gentle sway is hypnotic, affecting and unforgettable.
“Candescent Soul” finishes the EP with crawling doomgaze plodding away under painful melody and Esfandiari's haunting voice setting the listener free to carry on their own journey through life. I've heard comparisons to Mazzy Star, Jex Thoth and PJ Harvey but I'm more likely to pick up Fiona Apple for what it's worth.
Doubt is just a short EP but letting it repeat feels right most of the time. As much as it's about casting off shackles and finding ones self, the mood is depressing enough that you don't get that big rush of cathartic relief. But that doesn't mean you can't connect with it. Quite the opposite. Doubt is fit for contemplation, inviting, sensual and comforting in a strange way. If you have doubts, give it a shot.