Week in Pop: 209 Xmas, Mane, SILENTSHOUT

Sjimon Gompers

Film still from Mane's "New World Order" video; courtesy of Elektra Johnson & Tay Rey.


Breaking the veils of silence & dissonance with SILENTSHOUT, fka Alina Bea; photographed by Erica Weitz.

LA’s SILENTSHOUT, formerly known as Alina Bea, is comprised of Alina Cutrono & Theo Karon who work in ways to elevate the spaces between stillness & the loudest frequencies of sound. Covering Kate Bush’s “Breathing”, the duo updates the original into the evolved electronic realm of synth-pop syntheses where every note & uttered item is amplified in bold new ways.

Karon’s applies arrangement organizations of visions shared with collaborator Cutrono who are joined by bassist Devin Hoff, with what the group refers to as garbled piano contributions supplied by Ben Babbitt. Alina & Theo re-imagine ways to propel the modern pop hymn into a post-millennium melange of electronic instrumentations & warmly arranged assembly that pays homage to the experimentation of Kate’s classic original. Cutrono’s voice remains untouched throughout the majority of the mix, save for the closing section that invites an experimental array of buzzing, humming & blaring devices that sends the entire cover out toward some alternate dimension of time & space. The synthesizer choices & atmospheres created indicate aspects of SILENTSHOUT’s update as the group goes to show the limitless power that the Kate Bush catalog of indelible influence has had on fellow musicians & fans alike.

Alina shared the following thoughts on covering Kate Bush:

We are huge Kate Bush fans and this is not the first time that we’ve covered one of her songs, although it is the first recording. This particular song was recommended to us by Tom Sarig from AntiFragile, and we agreed to cover it because the subject matter resonated deeply with us in light of our current political climate. It is a bit surreal to watch nuclear escalation happening again, but this time on Twitter. Kate’s unique lyrical voice captures the feelings of doom and helplessness that are still prevalent today. Since Kate’s music has been such a huge influence on us, we wanted to make sure our cover sounded like a SILENTSHOUT song and not just a reproduction. We stripped back the arrangement to just chord changes and melody and built it up from there, trying to chase the emotion we found in the lyrics. The finishing touch was a stunning fretless electric bass performance by Devin Hoff, which underpins the narrative much in the same way as Eberhard Weber’s inspired performance in the original.

Revisit Kate Bush’s eternal classic “Breathing” featured off the 1980 album Never For Ever.

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