A fantastic collection of songs with layers to dive into and to explore on repeated listenings. Instruments played with confidence and range, and the vocals are incredible. Fans of 1980s 4AD will love this.
Featured this album on the forty ninth issue of RULE of THREE (bit.ly/RULEofTHREEbc). “Floor” is a special track that seeks new grounds. With its fast-paced Coldwave beat “Floor” surely is a dance floor filler - not what you first expect when listening to dream pop. Kennedy's heavenly voice and Cash's touching guitar wonderfully blend together into an enchanting amalgam. Both will touch you deeply and each new line will make your heart beat faster while you dance alone. Favorite track: Floor.
I'm frequently moved by music, but rarely to the degree I have been by this captivating record. It's been on repeat for the last two weeks and I still can't get enough. It's an incredible achievement, the production is spot on, record of the year thus far for me; a truly beautiful swansong.
Them Are Us Too was formed in the Bay Area by friends Kennedy Ashlyn and Cash Askew in 2012 after meeting at school. Fast friends with an appreciation for the same music and art, they recorded a demo and began performing intimate and memorable gigs on the west coast. They quickly gained a cult following as word spread about their youthful, innocent, and fresh take on the revered 80s dream pop and shoegaze sound, and Kennedy Ashlyn’s voice was immediately compared to Elizabeth Fraser, Kate Bush, and Harriet Wheeler – while Cash Askew’s washes of intricate guitar felt akin to Robin Guthrie, Ronny Moorings, or Kevin Shields. Their music felt familiar but new, nostalgic, and heartbreaking, with songs delivered simply and earnestly. They betrayed their age (both only 21 when they signed to DAIS) by releasing one of the most incredible debut albums of 2014, “Remain”.
Tragically, Cash Askew passed away in the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland in December of 2016, sending a shockwave of loss through our community. While Kennedy Ashlyn would eventually emerge as a solo artist through her project SRSQ, there were unfinished Them Are Us Too recordings and demos that Kennedy and those close to Cash felt deserved be heard in her memory.
Kennedy returned to the studio with producer Joshua Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv), Sunny Haire (Cash’s stepfather), Matia Somovich (INHALT), and Anya Dross (Cash’s girlfriend) to complete unfinished demos and sketches, write new compositions, and honor Cash Askew. The result is “AMENDS”: an album of tragic beauty and depth that tugs at emotions and inspires.
In Kennedy’s own words:
“Amends is a collection of songs that would have been the second Them Are Us Too record. This release is an amendment to our catalogue cut short; a final gift to our family, friends, and fans who have supported us for the past 5 years. “Amends” is a collaborative effort between TAUT and some of Cash’s dearest friends and family, culminating in a final “thank you” and “goodbye.” Nothing will ever compensate for the loss of Cash, but as we struggle to put together the pieces of what the world is now, what life is now, I hope this record can help to fill in the gaps. And give us some amount of peace.”