The sonic equivalent of standing on a beach as a tidal wave approaches, listening to IRESS is to be aware of certain devastation and yet grateful to witness something so terrifyingly beautiful, transfixed by what happens next.
Formed in Los Angeles in 2010, IRESS employ dark, commanding elements of shoegaze, slowcore and metal, swelling in moments of cinematic-like crescendo. Dubbed the “Adele of Doom” by her local LA music peers, frontwoman Michelle Malley’s vocals have the power to envelop with smokey warmth, destroy with anguished belting, and arrest with unbelievable restraint. Bassist, Michael Maldonado, provides the much-needed anchor in the bewitching melodies and reverb, while drummer, Glenn Chu, pushes unrelentingly forward. Guitarist, Graham Walker, joined in 2022 instigating a new, more collaborative way of working for the band. This chemistry is undeniable on stage as the intentionality applied to live performances leaves audiences stunned to silence in moments, brought to tears in others when impaled by Malley’s emotional screams, all the while supplying a satisfying amount of crushing distortion to head bang through.
The success of Iress’ newfound anatomy can also be heard in the exceptionally composed, staggering wave of doomgazey sound on the just released Solace EP, which tells the story of the brutal reality of change: inevitable, painful and beautiful. Mesmerised by the record, we caught up with singer and guitarist Michelle and asked her tell us about the three albums that were the gretatest influence on the sound of Solace.
Beach House – 7
This album is beautiful from beginning to end. It tells a story. That was our aim with Solace – to take you on a journey. We are heavily influenced by Beach House’s spacey guitars and their layers of haunting harmonies and melodic synths, and this album definitely embodies the dreamy, hypnotizing and vulnerable aspects of music that we’re trying to tap into with Solace.
Windhand – Soma
Our whole band loves heavy music. We all listen to metal in its various forms, and we will forever strive for a sludgy, heavy guitar sound as an underpinning of our music. Windhand has been a favourite of ours for years. We are obviously influenced by their doomy sound, but what strikes us is really the combination of it all: the vocal wails, the power and creativity of the drums, the Sabbath-like riffs; it’s an inspiring blend that they execute perfectly.
Just Mustard – Heart Under
Just Mustard is a new collective favourite of ours. We discovered this specific album right around the time we were recording Solace. I feel like it encompasses the raw, creepy, dirty side of what Iress strives for. They seamlessly transition between acoustic and electric drum tones with this 90’s grunge, industrial feel, all of which are sounds that played a role on Solace as well.