Label: Arbutus Records
from Montreal Quebec
Doldrums is a musical venture produced by Canadian artist Eric Woodhead.
As a part of a larger community reacting to overhype and plasticity of modern youth culture and it’s ultimately alienating nature, his music deals with, or helps him deal with, the loss of the individual in an increasingly altruistic society. Doldrums music reflects this societal change on the personal level, as a member of the last generation to remember life pre-internet and 24-hour status updates. His androgynous voice comes across mid-panic attack, floating in a sea of chopped up samples, disembodied vocals and tribal percussion. Spearing between electro-hallucinogenic freak-outs and languid nostalgia his tracks somehow manage to elevate classic pop melodies above a sample saturated sound collage.
Doldrums gained notoriety in their native Toronto through performances at The House of Everlasting Superjoy, a prominent Toronto DIY showspace they co-ran with members of DDMMYYYY, as well as playing at flash parties in abandoned spaces. 2010 saw them release a number of 7”’s including a split with DDMMYYYY and a VHS video mixtape. Woodhead began Doldrums in 2010 by posting videos and designing websites by fictional bands online under a variety of different band pseudonyms, Doldrums being one of them, taking the name from a favorite children’s book, Norton Juster ’s ‘The Phantom Tollbooth”. The stunning barrage of text and images with the music shows a pointedly critical take of what a ‘band’ is, which fortunately comes across no less digestible than Gorillaz.
This year after hearing his interpretation of their song ‘Chase the Tear’, Portishead announced they would release his song as the b-side to their single. At the same time new tracks fell into the hands of cult London indie label No Pain In Pop and were quickly confirmed for release as ‘Empire Sound’, his debut EP.
Though now based out of Montreal, Doldrums sound and attitude screams Toronto, where artists like Skrillex, Crystal Castles and Fucked Up are known for challenging existing ideologies about format and genre.
His music is mostly influenced by that of his friends such as DDMMYYYY and Grimes who he toured with last spring, the references he makes to pop culture have a placed artificiallity and unfamiliarity to them. Doldrums is emotionally vindicating sonic exploration, a fractured mirror image of what our post-internet culture has become.
Doldrums is full circle from the pinnacle of pop to the depths of the underground. A revolving door going too fast to get out.