Who: Maya Stoner (guitar, vocals), Kyle Bates (keyboard, vocals), Alec van Staveren (bass), Cyrus Lampton (drums).
Sounds Like: The screeching abandon of a new relationship.
For Fans Of: The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Chelsea Wolfe.
Musicians often say the intimacy of writing music with someone can sometimes surpass that of a love affair. But for Maya Stoner and Kyle Bates, there's really no distinction between the two.
But Stoner had different reasons for wanting a new project.
"In past bands, I've been one of, like, three songwriters, and people assumed guys wrote my parts because I'm a woman," she says. "I wanted more credit."
Stoner initially employed Bates merely as a facilitator—someone who knew a little more about Ableton and could assist her in developing songs she'd written as a sort of cathartic psychological processing tool. A mutual trust and affection developed organically among scrappy recording sessions and pin-drop-quiet vocal takes.
For something staked on such cushy ground, Floating Room's debut, Sunless, implies the depth of a long, tumultuous marriage. While Stoner's delicate voice might have been recorded as a whisper, it's set against a bombast of echoes, feedback and the pounding crunch of a drum machine. Bates' longtime Drowse bassist, Alec van Staveren, emphasizes the dark minor notes of Stoner's rolling chords, and the full-band incarnation elevates what started as an innocent crush into a devastating drama.
In the time since they began performing together, Stoner and Bates have expanded into a comfortable routine of familiarity that suggests a far longer history than the year Floating Room has been around. In the true sanguine spirit of new love, they're as optimistic about the expanse of both relationships.
"I love the recordings," Bates says. "But it's lo-fi. It would be cool to shoot for something bigger." CRIS LANKENAU.
SEE IT: Floating Room plays Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., with Drowse and Hex Vision, on Wednesday, Nov. 23. 9 pm. Free. 21+.