Doldrums have shared “Machine Boi,” a new single from the forthcoming album, Esc, out June 30th (Bande Dessinée). The song follows the recent video for “Heater.” Mixed by Matthew Otto (Majical Cloudz), Esc is Doldrums’ third full length LP
Airick Asher Woodhead, aka, Doldrums says “”Machine Boi” is a song to comfort someone who wants to give up, has been made to feel less than human. His tears rust him dry and he is forced to adapt. I read this book The Empty Fortress about a young boy who was convinced he had to run power from outlets to his body to perform basic functions. He thought he was a part of the power system and not a person, referred to food as ‘batteries’ and would smash lightbulbs whenever he was upset.”
In 2016, Airick Asher Woodhead changed pace after a busy year touring on his previous record The Air Conditioned Nightmare (2015, Sub Pop), “Travelling all the time was, for me, a totally unsustainable lifestyle. This was the first time I stayed in one place for a while and got to hang out with the people I love.”
Sonically, Asher says the album is informed by “Migraines. Privacy. The sound of the Montréal winter,” which he describes as a “clean and metallic feeling; like a screw that’s been stripped.” Final tracks were edited and mixed a few blocks away at Matthew Otto’s studio, with his “crazy tape machine.”
Esc is also the first Doldrums album that will be released on Asher’s own label. “I make weird music, and I like it like that. You’re constantly at risk of diluting your work if you’re always acquiescing to other people’s standards. And this is the first time I didn’t have to do that. I’ve been really inspired by artists like Mykki Blanco, Sean Nicholas Savage, and Frank Ocean in the ways they’ve decided to approach their releases to retain control of their work.”
The title’s implicit double-entendre of escapism, whether through immersion in an imagined universe to escape physical and social constructs, or of a simple key-log function to exit computer windows and shatter one’s digital abstractions. Ultimately, Esc is an uncompromised work from a DIY artist taking his work into his own hands, and a call to action to those willing to shed systems of control.