Houses: Falling In Love And Finding Peace

'Reds' by Houses

3 min 22 sec
 
"Reds" documents Houses' real-life attempts to flee a troubled past in a comfortable place. i i

"Reds" documents Houses' real-life attempts to flee a troubled past in a comfortable place. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist
"Reds" documents Houses' real-life attempts to flee a troubled past in a comfortable place.

"Reds" documents Houses' real-life attempts to flee a troubled past in a comfortable place.

Courtesy of the artist

Thursday's Pick

Song: "Reds"

Artist: Houses

CD: All Night

Genre: Rock

Houses' escapist songs are understated in mood and minimalist in structure. But with their bleary, lens-flared atmosphere and emotionally affecting harmonies, they work best if you allow them to wash over you as you let your mind wander.

That sense of escape comes from a genuine place for Houses' members, multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Dexter Tortoriello and singer Megan Messina. After years of drug addictions, halfway houses and fighting to get sober, Tortoriello had recently moved back to his hometown of Chicago when he met Messina, who'd come to work for a day at the store where he'd been working. The pair instantly hit it off — enough that when Tortoriello later lost his job, they decamped for a time to live in a tiny eco-friendly cabin in Papaikou, Hawaii. The couple worked by day and recorded music by night, often by candlelight in order to save the solar energy Tortoriello needed to power his laptop.

The resulting album, All Night, is a lovely tapestry of chirping synthesizers, serrated electronic blips and chopped-up beats, hazy vocal melodies and field recordings. It's a product of quiet bedroom experimentation: subtly crafted for headphones, yet full enough to envelop a room in gorgeous melodies and exuberant sheets of sound.

In "Reds," Tortoriello addresses his and Messina's experiences living in Hawaii and finding a comfortable place to get away from it all. "Spent the last few months in a warm house / Packing our suitcases with the sun in our eyes," he sings. The song perfectly captures those fleeting moments of falling in love and finding peace — both of which are all the more meaningful for the troubled years that preceded them.

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