So what do you do when your psychedelic doom folk band decides to take a break for a bit? Well if you’re Tristram Burden and your band is Language of Shapes you fill that band time with music making on your own. Burden decided to hit up a pre-LoS songbook and finish up some tunes under the name DogStar Tantra. The results are the 3-song EP All Alone In This Together 1 which is a decidedly guitar-centric affair(as opposed to mandolin-heavy LoS.) It’s absolutely no surprise that this EP is an engaging set of tunes, as Burden is an engaging songwriter with far more than one trick up his sleeve.
“Soul Strokes” opens the album with some brooding acoustics and Burden’s vocals sounding layered under years of existential heft. There’s a good reason Tristram chose this as the first single and video as it’s a hell of a gut punch right out of the gate. He takes Language of Shape’s dystopian, technicolor vibes and superimposes them here beautifully. It’s like Elbow and Echo and the Bunnymen got together and laid down some serious heavy world-weary vibes on some rainy afternoon. “Fall to Pieces” ups the ante up a bit with a last-disco-at-the-end-of-the-world vibe. There’s a slight Station To Station groove going on here, which suits Burden’s voice nicely. “Open Eyes” keeps the post-apocalyptic groove going, showing Burden’s knack for creating distinguished mood and atmosphere.
Language of Shapes’ front man isn’t sitting idly by while the Shapes’ are percolating new musical ghosts to haunt our ears. What better way to keep the musical chops sharp than rocking the 6-string solo for a bit? All Alone In This Together 1 is just the opening salvo in the DogStar Tantra saga. Look for parts 2 and 3 later this year. For now, dig into this juicy musical nugget from Tristram Burden.