Arts Desk

True Womanhood, Now Very Electronic, Covers Pictureplane

Last we heard from True Womanhood, the band had just released "Minajah," the first of its "Reel Too Real" series of songs recorded on a vintage 8-track mixing board the band restored last year. A warped, hazy, effects-laden attempt at Moombahton, "Minajah" also hinted at the band's shift toward a more electronic future.

True Womanhood's newest is a cover of "Dark Rift," the title track off the 2009 album by the one-man trance machine Pictureplane. The original cut by the Denver-based artist was a five-minute tapestry of scattershot drum machines, jittery lyrics, and layers of synth patterns.

The version of "Dark Rift" True Womanhood uploaded this week wasn't its first crack at the song, but once the duo decided to go electronic itlaid down the "babysealclub" version with synths and drum machines. The four-minute track is a few octaves lower than Pictureplane's original and not quite as rapid, but it moves the band in a fascinating direction. The storminess of older tracks like "Shadow People" or "Magic Child" has receded, but True Womanhood's trademark gloominess still comes through in their intro to "Dark Rift" with a low, 13-second chant by Thomas Redmond that leads into the first verse.

Why did True Womanhood decide to go full-tilt electronic? Credit dubstep pioneer Skream, and Pokémon. Watching "trippy YouTube videos" of the cartoon franchise gave the band "a revelation," Noam Eisner told Arts Desk. Eisner recommended this example as part of the inspiration:

"It's really dumb but sometimes you just want to see trippy Pokémon, you know?" Eisner wrote in an e-mail.

LISTEN: "Dark Rift" (babysealclub version) by True Womanhood

True Womanhood performs with Small Sins Sunday at 8 p.m. at The Red Palace, 1210 H Street NE. $8/10. (202) 399-3201

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