The Keening Signs to Relapse Records; Live Dates Announced

The Keening is Rebecca Vernon from SubRosa, and that’s all you really need to know, though I guess the fact that there’s an album, Relapse is releasing it, and a live band will take shape as well featuring, among others, Nathan Carson of Witch Mountain, is useful knowledge as well. You might also note the part below that says the record was produced by Billy Anderson and Carson and that those sessions happened two and a half years ago, im Dec. 2020.

Aside from meaning The Keening‘s debut will be nearly three years old by the time it arrives — which is by no means a detriment; not like it’s going to sound dated — that follows Vernon‘s appearance on the compilation Women of Doom (review here), which came out earlier in that plague year and was a decisively solo outing, a track called “A Shadow Covers Your Face” that you can stream at the bottom of this post.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that the one song thus far released by the project is representative of everything Vernon has going on with it, and indeed the PR wire info below describes some not-just-guitar-bass-drums arrangements that would seem to confirm that. I look forward to hearing it myself and seeing where the album goes. The feeling I get is the answer to that is it goes pretty deep.

Here’s info:

the keening (Photo by Angela H. Brown)



THE KEENING —the solo musical project of Rebecca Vernon (SubRosa)—signs to Relapse Records & announces live performances in September!

Rebecca Vernon Comments:

“I’m very excited and honored to join the Relapse family and look forward to the journey ahead with them. This music has been a long time in the making, and a lot of blood, sweat and travail went into it. I hope those who connect with it find it worth the wait. A lot of thanks goes to the many who have helped me along the way, but especially to my family, and Billy Anderson, Andrea Morgan and Nate Carson, who were the most heavily involved in the making of the album.”

THE KEENING weaves a web of lush orchestration, American Gothic sensibilities and wintry murder ballads set against a backdrop of dark, shimmering folk. Vernon’s previous band SubRosa echoes in THE KEENING’s chamber doom, flowing with flute, strings, harp, French horn, piano, organ and hammered dulcimer. Ultra-melodic forays into haunted bogs, endless wells, secret crimes, jeweled cages and the unenviable curse of being a murder witness abound. Dark as this sounds, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Rebecca Vernon was the lead singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter of Salt Lake City’s acclaimed SubRosa. She ended that 13-year project in 2018 to focus on THE KEENING.

Largely composed at a retreat in Joshua Tree and a friend’s family homestead in Kamas, Utah, THE KEENING’s upcoming album was recorded in December 2020 at Hallowed Halls in Portland, Oregon with “Engine-ear” Billy Anderson. Anderson’s long resume includes such luminaries as Melvins, Neurosis, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, High on Fire, Bell Witch, Amenra, Agalloch, Cathedral, Cattle Decapitation, Red House Painters, Sick of it All, Sleep, and more.

Anderson collaborated with Vernon and Witch Mountain drummer Nathan Carson as co-producers of the recording of the album. A host of Portland’s finest session musicians lent their talents to the album, including Andrea Morgan of Exulansis on violin.

THE KEENING is primed to release this brand new album via Relapse Records in 2023. More information about the album will be made available in the weeks and months to come.

Fri 9/15 – Bellingham, WA – Shakedown
Sat 9/16 – Seattle, WA – Clock-Out Lounge
Fri 9/22 – Eugene, OR – John Henry’s
Sat 9/23 – Portland OR – Crystal Ballroom w/ Agalloch, Thief

The Keening, “A Shadow Covers Your Face”

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