Kristina Esfandiari's Songs of Sorrow
In the mid-2000s, when Pedestal Magazine still published fiction, we ran a short story that centered on a band capable of playing any song ever requested. After a number of gigs, disillusioned with their listeners and the world, the group performs a song that, according to legend, had resulted in the suicide of each person who heard it. Mayhem ensues, leading to the self-destruction of everyone in the club, including the band members.
Don't worry, listening to Uncontrollable, the 2016 release by Kristina Esfandiari a.k.a. Miserable, will not prompt an irresistible urge to leap from a tall building or swallow a handful of barbiturates; that said, this is the most unrelentingly and concentratedly despair-laden project I've heard in years, possibly ever, making Pink Floyd, Nick Cave, and a slew of gloom-filled metal albums feel like bubblegum rock in comparison. Ponderous soundscapes, somber rhythmic movements, and Esfandiari's mournful voice coalesce to forge a tragically exquisite and uber-romantic manifesto.Read more