Cryogeyser‘s music maintains a magnetizing tension. Distortion and reverb are their friends, but none of their music feels consumed or overwhelmed by such effects. A mix of dreampop, shoegaze, and grunge, the LA-based trio balance their stone-heavy rhythmic section of bassist Hunter Martinez and drummer McCoy Kirgo with the swirling melodies and heaven-reaching vocals of singer-guitarist Shawn Marom. Today, they release their latest album timetetetheredtogether, which is the second half of their two-part album series that began with last year’s Love Is Land, produced by Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa.
The combination of Cryogeyser’s hazy sound and reflections on loss surround the album in a foggy, haunting sheath. The opening title track uses delicate guitars to introduce an intense revelation tethered to letting go. “I love you / But I’ll leave you where you are,” sings Marom. Their voice flickers almost as if their journey forward has already begun, moving further from grief and toward a stronger resolve. Later, on “Distant Object,” a lover is submerged in the expectations of another, letting doubt creep in when their own needs aren’t met. But, timetetetheredtogether, or Cryogeyser for that matter, isn’t all melancholy.
“I only follow love,” Marom says. “I am guided by those who make me feel wanted in my life. But what I learned in the time writing this album, and after it, is that the only validation that really matters is from yourself. So ask yourself, when you look through the scrapbook, the collection of all your memories, can you say with confidence that you chose to be there for those times? In love and elsewhere, are you directed in your course, or are you being carried? And is there a right way?”
Listen to timetetetheredtogether and read Marom’s words on each track below.
I write most of my songs over a period of time—often times very quickly, and then finish slowly, a line here and there. The title track is about dignity, self-love, and slow but sure acceptance. But it was recorded unfinished, life had answered the song’s question. It makes me feel really empowered. When I perform it live, the outro has lyrics over it, which isn’t something that happens on the track. I love this song because it’s so simple, and it allows me to express any sort of grief or regret I have over it. It is malleable. It’s unfinished. Short, but anthemic.
“Bed” is my first song I wrote on guitar, followed soon after by “Angry” and “Marie.” It started out as a song about missing someone who is by default far away. Years passed and it became about missing someone so viscerally that the idea of being inanimate, and near them, became a decadent daydream. Being the sheets on their bed, being the bed, carrying them to bed. The song is different than other Cryogeyser tracks, for it has no chorus, and no big sweetness attached to it. It’s a song about accepting wanting in yourself. How that feels. How small it makes the world.
It’s a song about trying to control your environment, its outcomes and the people inside it. It’s about breaking free from these ideas that things have to work out one certain way. It’s also–to be vulnerable–about worship, first of someone else, but eventually, in the second verse, it’s about music and about wanting to become the project and wanting the project to become me. Wanting to be natural in it, and at home. I like this song because it has a euphoric vibe and sort of a euphoric self-revelation locked inside it.
This song is about discerning between one person’s actions and their true intentions. For me it was about staying the night in bed with someone who had hurt me, and for some reason understanding their side. It’s a song about forgiveness. “Foreigner,” like “Bed,” showcases a more stripped-down Cryogeyser, with Hunter’s bass and my guitar pretty bare…McCoy [Kirgo] holds it down on drums, I asked him to play sad and baggy, he really understood that.
5. “Sonic Peace”
I’ve spoken about “Sonic Peace” in a few different formats. It initially was inspired by a poem I read in college about the sound and shape of water, of its rituals, its power to move us emotionally and physically. For me it’s a meditative song, a song I can play the riff for over and over again and kind of just zone out, float away, daydream. I know it sounds angry, but the song is more about needing space, needing quiet, needing to be like water—not knowing why or how I go, but flowing.
I love hearing myself play guitar on this song. Jack Shirley, who recorded this side of the double-album, taught me how to accomplish amp feedback. It was really powerful for me, to play in this way that I always thought I wasn’t able or allowed to. The fuzzy distortion and dried out harmonies encompass what I was feeling during that time; huge and disoriented. This song is my favorite on the album because of how many people I love touched it, you know? Helped, or listened, or inspired a part. It feels very huge to me.
6. “Distant Object”
“Distant Object,” in true Cryogeyser fashion, is a more gazy track, eliciting the same dreamy longing heard on “Glitch.” It’s a song about loving someone very much, and missing them even more. Missing them makes the most foolish stuff happen, even though these lovers have their own secret language, one that transcends language itself, they misunderstand each other, lose sight of each other. In the outro I sing “Move in and out of things that move slowly / Well knowing the difference, well that was the old me,” and that’s how we know this love is drowning the lover. It doesn’t appear as it was, and it appears to be broken. It once was the vehicle. This song sometimes makes me cry when I listen to it. I think that’s OK.
This is a kind of a dis track mixed with a track of self-ridicule. It’s more like a dis track to myself. Like “Angry,” I’m pointing to wanting to do something that might feel good, but that is definitely not worth it.
8. “What I Know”
This song was the first song on the new album—it was the song I knew would be there. It never even changed much. Hunter [Martinez] and I played this at almost every Cryogeyser show in 2019, I think it’s because I really liked kicking on the distortion. It was exhilarating, the volume, all of it. It’s a song about knowing that something, a feeling mostly, is running out. A lot of Cryogeyser songs are about holding on, missing someone or something. This one’s about what I know to be true, about my own actions and the things I thought I wanted.
What do we know? We only know what we ask. In following their dreams, to make their wishes come true, what will people do? Will they fly to the ends of the earth? Bear heartbreak and disappointment? Follow the moon? I only follow love. I am guided by those who make me feel wanted in my life. But what I learned in the time writing this album, and after it, is that the only validation that really matters is from yourself. So ask yourself, when you look through the scrapbook, the collection of all your memories, can you say with confidence that you chose to be there for those times? In love and elsewhere, are you directed in your course, or are you being carried? And is there a right way?