Standout Track: No. 1, “Burn the Veil,” the rumbling, melodic goth rocker that kicks off the duo’s debut 7-inch and quivers as it tightrope-walks the line between dream and nightmare. Driven by the controlled fury of Nathan Jurgenson’s drumming, the track builds and drops in intensity, eventually exploding into a cathartic climax of shrieks and distortion. Much of the song’s power is derived from Angela Morrish’s emotive wail, which falls somewhere between Zola Jesus and Kristin Hersh.
Musical Motivation: “[‘Burn the Veil’] was one of the first Washerwoman songs that stuck,” says Morrish, who also played with Jurgenson in the recently disbanded Phonic Riot. While she says that, for her, the “writing process is sort of a blur,” Jurgenson’s input helped her “break out of [her] introverted tendencies and really put it all out there.” As far as “Veil” goes, Morrish says she’d rather listeners get lost in its haunting atmosphere than try to pick apart its storyline. “Some of my favorite songs have been killed for me when the artist tried to give the back story,” she says. “‘Burn the Veil’ was sort of like an exorcism. I’ll leave it at that.”
Hearing Crickets: Next month, Washerwoman’s debut EP will come out on Cricket Cemetery, the imprint that was recently crowned “Best Upstart Label” in our Best of D.C. issue. Morrish thinks it’s a great fit for the band. “I’ve been a fan of DIY labels done right for years, so it was really exciting for me when Ian [Thompson, Cricket Cemetery founder] approached us about the EP,” Morrish says. She adds that the band is inspired by anyone who “invests sweat, time, and money” to “make their art happen. We all know the big-label meal-ticket days are over, so to really dedicate your life to doing this is a rare and admirable thing.”