Since 2009, Dash Lewis, a Chicago via Asheville, NC musician, has written and recorded under the moniker of Curtains. Breathe to Death is his second album release. His first album, Melted, was released on cassette via Life Like in 2010.
Recording in his bedroom in Asheville from December 2012 through June 2013, Lewis utilized minimal equipment to create expansive sound. The record’s place of origin is evident in listening; the confessional lyrics and raw, distorted sounds of another sleepless night culminate in Curtains’ insomniac sound, kept alert by pop structured harmonies and a driving electronic groove. Each track seems to approach a precipice of complete collapse, but somehow propels itself forward. Sounds self-destruct, while the voice that drives the machine never relinquishes control, allowing for a perfectly timed clean dissolve.
Lewis’ recording process consists of gathering found sounds and samples from old soul, doo-wop, and psych records, augmented by his own drum programming, synth leads, guitar, and hand percussion. Live, Lewis reinterprets the songs using only loops of his voice, modulated and affected by an array of effects pedals.
Breathe to Death is the most fully realized work of the Curtains sound, with concentrated focus and Lewis’ embrace of electronic influences. The songs seem somehow familiar and strange, as if pulled from the moments between sleep and waking, remnants of the subconscious’ fractured desires and unsorted noise.