laughingstock – laughingstock EP
1. Counting Stains*
2. Without Your Love
3. Places Where I Hate to Drive at Night
RIYL: Beach House, James Blake, Magical Cloudz
laughingstock is a new Bellingham, WA-based dreampop duo who weave dramatic and dynamic harmonies over lush guitar and keyboards, reinforced with electronic beats. The vocal duties are split between the two members, Aiken Muller and Josh Hughes, lyrically exploring the secret lives of fictional characters. With the duo’s back and forth vocal parts, these characters’ inner dialogues of love, hopes, dreams, and fears are reflected on.
The lead-off track “Counting Stains” is a delicate rumination on a relationship gone bad, with the stains on the carpet stand-ins for troubled times as the narrator recounts them obsessively in his mind. A subtle but keen sense of humor along with a palpable ennui inhabit these songs, circling slowly around the artist’s anxieties for the future.
Aiken self-produced the record, an ambitious undertaking for a new artist, but typical for him as he throws himself headlong into the deep end with his crafts, including theater training and audio engineering. The two are adding a third member to the band and working on a full-length for later this year.