usa | Label: Styles Upon Styles

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Black Horse Pike represents an unintentionally chronological contemplation. Across a five-track suite, Vorhees explores memories of teenage meanderings in New Jersey’s suburban doldrums, the scars and artifacts of relationships with intimates and religion, and the impossible waking (un)reality of her insomniac tendencies throughout the world in ever changing hotel rooms and tour bus bunks.

The title track and opening song on Black Horse Pike, released in 2016 by Styles Upon Styles, sets the record’s compositional tone. Eulogizing a late night drive to a secluded section of suburbia, Dana conjures memories of a place where two nascent lovers could share a kiss and friends could travel without cause. Languid textures billow from her machines in a bed of harmonic ambience, creating a haze through which infinite guitar notes sear and echoed vocals float. “Souvenir” follows these forms with an expansive bass tone, as if to represent the heaviness of shedding failed promises of past lovers and religious faith, beautifying and destroying nostalgia in unison.

Black Horse Pike was written, recorded and produced by Dana Wachs in her Brooklyn home between touring with Belle & Sebastian and Deerhunter. During this time, Dana participated in parts II and III of a performance art piece titled Rural Violence, directed by Brandon Stousy, with part II presented by Matthew Barney. In conjunction, she collaborated with George Clarke of Deafheaven, forming the new duo Wachs & Clarke, for the 20 minute accompanying music piece RVIII: Invocation, (with all proceeds from the bandcamp sales going to the Matthew Shepard Foundation). The artwork for Black Horse Pike features an illustration by Dana’s mother, Nancy Alter, and design byTran Huynh.