John Dwyer’s primary musical outlet Osees still haven’t taken their foot off the gas since the West Coast rockers began releasing roughly an album per year nearly two decades ago. What’s even more impressive, though, is the fact that Dwyer manages to keep that plate spinning at a rapid clip while adding a second plate during what could practically be considered an early-pandemic hiatus for the band (over 12 months without a full-length album of new material) that began with Bent Arcana, a jazz fusion ensemble he forged in 2020 featuring TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone. Yet neither lineup nor band name was solidified, and in the years since then its members have come and gone over the course of five albums billed to its individual members rather than a cohesive band name.
Which leads us to the recent reveal of Ritual / Habit / Ceremony as the project’s new moniker alongside news of another new record: a self-titled release set to arrive October 13 via Castle Face. Malone is back on board this time, along with former Osees collaborators including Brigid Dawson and Tomas Dolas as well as Japanese free-improv musician YoshimiO, who recently materialized on Sightless Pit’s terror-inducing, collaboration-heavy sophomore LP. “I wanted to do a relatively drumless record (just percussion by Andres [Renteria], no trap drums) and then symphonic instruments with synths,” Dwyer shares of the direction the new record took, citing trailblazing composer Wendy Carlos as an influence. “Obviously this is not on her level of academic music, but still a fan.”
The album’s latest single sees Albert Wolski of Australian post-punk band EXEK joining in on the fun, with “Ruth’s Mouth” swirling around Wolski vocals and lyrics and band member Archie Carey’s bassoon. “The song changed drastically with the additions of their parts and turned into this lovely lilting pop song,” Dwyer adds. “Really it all started with improv…it was just everyone going for it. I would certainly say it had an inadvertent Eno-esque vibe in the end. Nothing wrong with that.”
Hear it below.