“The Mask” is the first single from For Now‘s second full length album Running From It and it announces the duo’s return with gorgeously sparse instrumentation that nevertheless builds a complete world for the listener. Recorded at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco, CA the new album promises “mostly pop and mostly electronic” music and this track definitely delivers on that. Engineered by Beau Sorenson and produced by Sorenson and For Now, the album “aspires to achieve sonic and emotional transparency” and while a track called “The Mask” may seem at odds with reaching such transparency, it nevertheless paints a bare bones picture of the feeling of uncertainty that often accompanies love.
Comprised of Zeina Nasr and Alex Vittum, the Oakland, CA duo For Now self-describes the range of their music as covering everything from “reflections on the experience of love and marriage to escapist manifestos and odes to death.” On “The Mask”, For Now seems to touch on each of these experiences and then some as they pair bombastic drums with intense, shuddering vocals against a backdrop of tottering, roiling synths to create an experience that is at once haunting and seductive. As the track builds towards its stunning conclusion, each vocalist pleads with the other to “take off the mask” while replying always “this is my face.”
This poignant statement on identity and self is reinforced by lead vocals that start out clear, but become increasingly obscured as they intertwine with other vocal tones, voices, and instrumentation. The result is a piece of electronic pop music that is as accessible as it is exclusive in its 2 minute and 31 second run time. Overall, “The Mask” is a shuffling, breathy concoction that will likely result in multiple spins as listeners do their best to find themselves lost in its lush, sonic world of uncertain love and identity again and again.
**photos by Lana Dandan